Unique matching program is a great opportunity for arts organizations to secure long-term financial support
Early spring is my favourite time of year and not only because winter is almost over and patio season is just around the corner. It’s also the time of year when Canadian Heritage unveils their matching grants for performing arts organizations across the country.
The Canada Cultural Investment Fund (CCIF) has an endowment incentives component that encourages donors to contribute to the endowment funds of not-for-profit professional arts organizations. The program is meant to help these organizations to build sustainable funding for the future, which enables them to be more strategic about their artistic direction and long-term stability. Eligible organizations must apply for matching funds together with a public foundation and Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) has been an enthusiastic partner of Edmonton arts organizations for nearly 18 years.
2017 was a record year for Edmonton’s artistic community with 12 organizations working with their donors to raise or contribute over $900,000 to their endowment funds in partnership with Edmonton Community Foundation! The CCIF program contributed an additional $590,000 in permanently endowed matching funds at ECF for the past year. That means the CCIF matching funds have granted more than $2.7 million back to the arts community since ECF became involved in the program.
Over the years, ECF has partnered with 17 professional arts organizations in our community and with the latest grants for 2017, the CCIF program has garnered a total of over $8.5 million alone! When you consider that this is just the match for those funds raised by the arts organizations and their donors, you quickly realize the significant impact of this program on theatre, music, dance, opera, or film arts in our community. For 2018, ECF will be granting well over $700,000 in total as a result of this matching initiative.
The power of endowment lies in the commitment and vision of donors and artistic leaders who believe in long-term planning and sustainability for the arts. Years ago, when I worked at Edmonton Opera, my colleagues and I made a commitment to start an endowment fund ourselves for the opera. A decade later, many of us have moved on but I’m happy to report that that particular fund continues to grow with the donations of our successors who believe – like we did – in creating a sustainable fund to help Edmonton Opera with its future plans and artistic direction. Now that I’m with the ECF, I have the pleasure of working with many different arts organizations to continue building this momentum and strengthening Edmonton’s vibrant arts and culture scene.
The CCIF program is an ongoing program and the deadline for 2018 will be December 1st. If you would like to learn more about how you – or an organization you love – might be able to take advantage of this matching opportunity, I would be happy to speak with you!
Noel Xavier is a Donor Advisor at Edmonton Community Foundation. To learn more about CCIF you can email him here. You can also hear our interview with Noel alongside Fringe Theatre Adventures and Opera Nuova about the impact of CCIF on this episode of The Well Endowed Podcast.