COVID-19 Relief for Vancouver, BC Art Galleries, Artists, and Art Workers

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The Monica Reyes Gallery has started this petition to present to Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

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As you know, commercial art galleries, artist-run exhibition centres, and not-for-profit exhibitions across the City of Vancouver have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. Nearly all have had to cancel or indefinitely postpone receptions, performances, and other events at their bricks and mortar locations. These businesses are effectively closed, and unable to meet with clients or participate in local, regional, and international art fairs. The cancellation of these events is resulting in loss of revenue at all levels of the industry.

Without the financial support of the local, provincial and federal governments, these businesses will not be able to pay their employees, support the artists they represent, nor pay their rents or mortgages. If no action is taken, these businesses will not survive and many artists and art workers will be left without a support system.

Art galleries are an irreplaceable part of the cultural landscape of Vancouver. Through their exhibitions and events, these spaces provide a free public service for many communities throughout the city. As common places for culture, they contribute to Vancouver's reputation as an exciting destination for tourists to visit, and help make the city a vibrant space of inclusion for all the different communities that form the social fabric of the city.

 

WE THE UNDERSIGNED ARE SEEKING -

 

The immediate development of a new grant relief program for small businesses with business models like art galleries. This initiative must be designed to provide financial assistance for businesses who support full-time employees, part-time employees, contracted freelancers, and artists.

 

The immediate development of an additional grant relief initiative from the city for sole-proprietors and small businesses that may not be incorporated and have incomes that flow through an individual or a couple’s personal income.

 

Rent forgiveness for commercial tenants—small businesses or sole proprietors. This could be offset by a property tax credits for landlords to compensate for their loss in rent.

 

A freeze on mortgage payments for small business owners who conduct business from within their own property until the economic disruption has ended.

 

Utility bill relief.

 

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