New donor program invests in island arts

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As the Salt Spring Arts Council gets ready to celebrate 50 years of supporting the local creative community in 2018, the board has started the festivities early by announcing the new Salt Spring Arts Council Endowment Fund.

The SSAC Endowment Fund is a special form of donating that will contribute to the stability of the organization and the ongoing success of its many programs. It will be managed through the Salt Spring Island Foundation.

“The SSAC will receive an annual ‘dividend’ from the endowment fund that will be held by the Salt Spring Foundation in perpetuity, in the same way that the Rosmarie Behnke Fund is held by the foundation. Both will provide annual disbursements to support SSAC community programming,” a press release from the arts council board states.

The Salt Spring Arts Council is a not-for-profit 200-plus member organization that supports and promotes the arts through events, education, partnership and advocacy. Alongside ArtCraft — B.C.’s longest-running fine arts and craft exhibition — SSAC delivers a wide array of cultural programs and workshops. It initiated the Salt Spring National Art Prize in 2015, operates a successful gallery and provides funding to emerging and established visual, literary, performing artists and artisans.

The new endowment fund was initiated with a $10,000 donation from Janet Halliwell, a former arts council board member and long-term supporter.

“I am continually impressed by the dynamism and impact of the SSAC programs,” Halliwell stated. “From Art Jam, through youth-oriented programming like Artists in the Class to SSNAP, the SSAC programs provide rich cultural benefit to all parts of our community.

“At the same time, I am enormously sensitive to the challenge of ensuring the sustainability of these programs through external grants. I encourage others to contribute to this fund and through it the cultural health of Salt Spring.” 

The board says the fund is suitable for donors wishing to make larger donations, who would like to leave a legacy and provide for the long-term future of SSAC. Arts council supporters can make a donation of cash or securities to the Salt Spring Foundation for the SSAC Endowment Fund. They will be pooled in sustainable funds managed by the foundation.

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