The Kevin Files: Fringe Produer Reeling from Funding Cuts
The Victoria-based Intrepid Theatre, producers of the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival and the Uno Fest, released the following press release this morning:
At 4:12pm yesterday, Intrepid Theatre, producers of the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival, now in its 23rd year, received word from the Province of BC that it had been denied their application for $35,000 in Direct Access Gaming funds. The loss of these funds leaves a significant hole in Intrepid's budgets that amounts to a third of the company’s programming and will lead to the first significant deficit the company has faced in over a decade.
"We're reeling from this news. We applied to Gaming in March and expected to be approved and have those funds in our accounts in June," says Intrepid Theatre General Manager. "The irony is that the Fringe posted the busiest days of advance ticket sales in it's 23 year history on today's opening day."
This news follows the February budget which forecasts over 40% cuts to the BC Arts Council in 2010/11 and 2011/12 as well as the announcement of the HST and its application to theatre tickets.
"The loss of funding means the loss of programming," states Intrepid Artistic Director Janet Munsil, "This cut represents nearly a third of our programming budget and something will need to go." Intrepid Theatre produces the annual Uno Fest, a international presenting series of alternative theatre and the annual Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival. Intrepid also runs the Metro Studio and Intrepid Theatre Club, two small venues for alternative performance in downtown Victoria.
Gaming funds were frozen with no notice to arts and culture groups earlier this year while the program underwent an internal review. Earlier this week the Government released news that priorities for Direct Access had changed and that "a limited number of arts & culture activities" would receive support.
"Despite the ominous reports from the BC Government, we held every hope that we would receive at least a portion of the funds we requested. After all, we have received these funds for over a decade," says Case.