RDN director puts forward funding increase for GAC

Rachelle Stein-Wotten

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Gabriola Sounder

Wednesday, January 13 2021

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s financial contribution to the Gabriola Arts Council is expected to increase by $2,500 per year over the next three years after RDN Director Vanessa Craig’s motion to amend the funding agreement was approved at the committee level on Jan. 7.

The Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, DeCourcy) director delayed making a decision on the renewal of the funding agreement for two months after she received a request from the Arts Council for more annual funding to support their operating budget.

Craig said GAC’s request was for more, but she settled on $7,500 per year because there were budget constraints to consider.

“The budget constraints include my interest in avoiding large tax increases for our residents, particularly in such a difficult year, balanced with the opportunity to support important on-island resources and activities,” Craig said. She said there are some carry-over amounts from 2020 that will help offset any increases to taxation and that she will also reduce Area B’s 2021 budget amount going toward its feasibility studies reserve, which was at $20,000 prior to the reduction. 

GAC began receiving $5,000 per year from the RDN in 2018. The new proposal of $7,500 per year would run through 2023. The RDN board will vote on a final 2021 budget and updated five-year financial plan on Feb. 23.