Fast funding is now available for Yukon artists through a brand-new grant program.
The Express Micro-grant fund was announced at a press conference on July 5.
It’s open to anyone working in a creative industry looking to fund a project under $5,000.
Applicants will receive a response within 10 days of applying, the Yukon government says. There will be no hard deadlines for applying, and money will be granted on a rolling basis. The fund has a simplified application process designed to cost fewer administrative hours than most grants.
Applications open on Sept. 1 and a minimum of $12,500 will be available every month.
The eligible industries include writing and publishing; visual and interactive media; music and sound recording; visual and applied arts; live performance; heritage and libraries.
“These industries are an extremely important part of our economy and our community,” said Tourism Minister Ranj Pillai on July 5.
Workshops, conferences, research trips, craft fairs and podcasts are all eligible projects, he continued. The grant was born out of two years of public engagement, where a fast and simple funding avenue was identified as a top priority for artists.
Scott Maynard, executive director of Music Yukon, provided feedback to the government as part of a cultural strategy advisory committee.
“I think this is a really excellent start, so I’m really happy about it,” Maynard told the News on July 7. “It solves a lot of problems that have existed in the grant program over the last decade or so.”
The flexibility and quick turnaround for approval is important for artists, Maynard explained. It allows someone to pick up a last-minute opportunity – like travelling to perform – without planning funding months in advance.
Traditional grants also have intensive applications requiring a resume, work samples, references and written proposals. Once money is received, detailed reporting is required.
The micro-grant application is intentionally designed simpler.
“You don’t have to go through quite the rigamarole,” Maynard said. “That level of flexibility is great, because a lot of the grant programs that exist … have very rigorous reporting requirements that have actually become a barrier for a lot of people.”
It’s a barrier because the amount of work required sometimes isn’t worth the prize at the end, Maynard said. Easy access to arts funding trickles into the community, he continued, in the form of shows, outdoor concert series and exhibits.
“Because it’s so flexible and so broad and so accessible, really it’s up to the creativity of the community to figure out what they want to do with it.”
Contact Gabrielle Plonka at email@example.com