By Cecilia Nasmith
Art Gallery of Northumberland executive director Olinda Casimiro reminded Cobourg council at this week's committee-of-the-whole meeting why their continued financial support of the gallery is important.
“The gallery is an important community builder,” Casimiro stated.
Their exhibits and projects bring people together, she said, but the arts also offer economic benefits – creating jobs, stimulating business activity, attracting tourism.
The gallery also creates a cultural legacy for future generations of citizens.
“Everyone benefits from the arts – not just those who attend,” she said.
“There's no doubt we could not exist without the support we receive from our community and the Town of Cobourg.”
Casimiro said their 2019 budget is $355,000, and they are requesting $250,000 from the town (or 70% of the budget).
Of this figure, $75,000 goes back to the town in rent and security costs, with $175,000 going toward staffing and operations.
In most cases, she continued, public art galleries receive 60% to 85% of their operating funds from municipalities. But this does represent an increase over the $160,000 they received last year.
Of that amount, Cobourg treasurer Ian Davey said, $45,000 was an in-kind donation toward rent, $95,000 was a cash-contribution grant and $20,000 was for repayment of an outstanding promissory note.
The gallery's request will be referred to budget deliberations.