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Arty-farty

At the City's budget meeting last Tuesday I was confronted by a member of the Ratepayers Assn.

At the City's budget meeting last Tuesday I was confronted by a member of the Ratepayers Assn., who seemed unhappy with my "banana" letter last week, with the question, "Why don't those artsy fartsy types get busy and raise their own funds instead of always asking for hand-outs?" With the reasonable belief that he was not the only one who held that opinion, I did some checking. Here are my findings.The Art Gallery is operated by the Community Arts Council. It raises about $65,000 to $75,000 through its annual art auction, sale of paintings and crafts, picture rentals, from bingo revenue and sponsorship of workshops, concert series, and other projects, as well as some corporate sponsorship. Of that it gives out about $11,000 to other community groups. Much work is done by volunteers.The museum is not a fund raiser as such, but derives funds from renting central space and storage and office area to Tourism and collects money from visitor donations. It, and Pioneer Village, are almost totally operated by volunteer workers. That includes keeping the buildings clean, maintaining the collection and changing exhibits. The art gallery, museum, and Pioneer Village are always featured in city and Chamber of Commerce advertising, so it would seem reasonable to expect financial aid from the city.Libraries of themselves are not fund-raising institutions. However, there is a volunteer Board of Directors and a volunteer fund-raising group, "Friends of the Library", who organize an annual book sale and sell used books at both the library and Pioneer Village.The Kiwanis Performing Arts Center (KPAC) operates on a budget of close to $500,000. It raises funds from rentals by various groups including potters, weavers, child-care center, dance studios, music studios, the community band, Tae-Quon-Do, and other users, including rental of the auditorium for meetings, banquets and social functions. It, too, has a volunteer Board of Directors and needs volunteers for various functions. It might be recalled that much of what goes on there was supposed to have gone to the Multiplex until the cost of that facility went out of bounds.The Kiwanis Community Band members pay $140 each annually, and the band organizes two dinner-dance events each year as fund raisers. Members pay their own expenses for trips out of town or overseas.From this incomplete list it should be obvious that the "artsy-fartsy" people do very well to raise funds to support their activities, and kudus to the city administration and Council for finding ways to return the bananas.