It has come to our attention that some Hope merchants are complaining that the Hope & District Arts Council (HDAC) is offering a bus trip to Granville Island for the specific purpose of Christmas shopping, when in their opinion the council should be encouraging people to shop locally.
They also believe that the funding received from the District of Hope is used to provide this service. These merchants are making assumptions based on incorrect information.
First and foremost, none of the funding received from the District of Hope is applied to the Art Bus.
It is used for HDAC administrative costs and the many programs that HDAC offers locally.
The Art Bus is a service that makes it possible for Hope residents, mostly seniors, to attend arts and cultural events outside of Hope, and has been doing so for the past several years. Trips to Granville Island are made primarily to enjoy the many galleries, studios and workshops located there featuring some of the best artists and artisans in the province.
Any shopping that takes place is an individual’s choice and generally is for items not available in Hope.
When an Art Bus trip is planned, a bus is booked either through “All Points” bus service (local business) or Hope Care Transit (local non-profit).
The Hope & District Arts Council is very supportive of our local businesses and the community of Hope. We employ three part-time Hope residents, rent local space/event venues and buy as much as we possibly can from local businesses. We also employ local artists, musicians, caterers and trades people when needed.
The BC Arts Council views the Arts Bus as a very positive program that allows more participation in the larger world of arts and culture.
If anyone has any questions regarding the Art Bus, please contact the Hope & District Arts Council office at 604-869-3400.
Rod Fowler, president,
Hope & District Arts Council