REGION OF WATERLOO
Today, the Regional Economic Development Committee approved funding for a new program to support the local arts and culture sector as they continue to reopen from pandemic restrictions.
The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Information program will provide members of arts communities with free access to kits that contain the tools needed to operate safely under public health measures.
Since the start of the pandemic, local artists have had to manage reduced revenues, exhibit and venue closures and increased costs associated with having to pivot to new and creative ways to share their work with the community.
Now, as businesses continue to re-open, local artists are looking at opportunities to reopen their own facilities, determining opportunities for performances and examining the required costs to support sharing their work.
“With the community now beginning to bring people back together for cultural experiences, we intend to support local arts and culture organizations in their work while adhering to public health guidelines,” said Regional Economic Development Committee Chair, Helen Jowett.
Over the course of 2021, the Region and area municipalities supported local businesses in the tourism, hospitality, and food services sector with a similar program that assisted with the acquisition of PPE and other minor retrofits. Based on feedback received by Regional staff during ongoing discussions with the arts and culture community, the time is now right to expand the program out to support to that sector.
Members of the arts and culture sector in Waterloo Region will be able to collect the free PPE and Information kits from the Pinebush vaccination clinic in Cambridge beginning in early January, 2022. The kits will contain PPE donated by local industry partners and include face masks and shields, sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and information on public health measures.
The program is funded through the $3 million Strategic Investments for Business Supports approved by Regional Council over two years to enhance supports and services to businesses beyond COVID-19.
More information on the PPE and Information kits will be available in the coming weeks.