Quick funding is now available for Yukon artists through a brand new grant program.
The Express Micro-Grants Fund was announced at a July 5 press conference.
It is 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 their application, the Yukon government said. There will be no strict deadlines for applying and money will be awarded on a rolling basis. The fund has a streamlined application process designed to cost fewer administrative hours than most grants.
Applications open September 1 and a minimum of $12,500 will be available each month.
Eligible industries include writing and publishing; visual and interactive media; music and sound recording; visual and applied arts; live performances; heritage and libraries.
“These industries are an extremely important part of our economy and our community,” Tourism Minister Ranj Pillai said July 5.
Workshops, conferences, research trips, craft fairs and podcasts are all eligible projects, he continued. The grant grew out of two years of public engagement, where a quick and easy funding pathway was identified as a top priority for artists.
Scott Maynard, executive director of Music Yukon, provided feedback to government as part of a cultural strategy advisory committee.
“I think it’s a really good start, so I’m really happy with it,” Maynard told the New July 7. “This solves many problems that existed in the grant program for the past decade.”
Flexibility and timeliness for approval is important for artists, Maynard explained. This allows someone to grab a last-minute opportunity — like traveling to perform — without planning funding months in advance.
Traditional grants also have intensive applications requiring a resume, work samples, references, and written proposals. Once the money is received, a detailed report is required.
The micro-grant application is intentionally designed simpler.
“You don’t have to go through the whole rigamarole,” Maynard said. “This level of flexibility is great because many existing grant programs … 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 price in the end, Maynard said. Easy access to arts funding ripples through the community, he continued, in the form of performances, outdoor concert series and exhibitions.
“Because it’s so flexible, so broad and so accessible, it’s really up to the creativity of the community to determine what they want to do with it.”
Contact Gabrielle Plonka at [email protected]