Recognizing the limitations that can come in a smaller northern community the city is supporting the growth of local artists. The City of Grande Prairie accepted applications for projects and scholarships until the beginning of March. Eight requests for funding were received and with their $7,000 budget four of them were funded.
Richelle Richardson with the city’s Sports Development, Wellness and Culture department says they feel that by supporting the talent here now it will lead to more development in the future. She says that was a big part of the reason they funded dancer Kailey Pierson’s scholarship request.
“She’s a local dance teacher here. So this is going to give her an opportunity to come back and show more techniques and help her students here in Grande Prairie learn more. [It will] advance even their skills as well as her own.”
Pierson will use the $1,500 to attend a ten day dance workshop in Calgary with the Royal Academy of Dance. In the past she has received funding for training in New York and Ukraine.
Richardson says there is an impressive talent pool in GP some of them even catch the attention of international artists. She says that is what happened to local airbrush artist Daniel Sanchez.
“His art was seen by a world renowned artist and he was personally invited to go train with him. Stuff like that doesn’t happen and it’s expensive. This helps people take those opportunities.”
Sanchez has attended training in South Carolina but said in his application that training opportunities for his specialized technique are quite limited. This personal invitation will take him to Mexico City to study with Ivan Loperena.
Melissa Shalagan also received funding for a senior’s social dance class. A group that sometimes be overlooked in a city as youthful as Grande Prairie. Richardson says they are supportive of all creative endeavors.
“We fund dancers and painters and really anybody that’s trying to better the arts and to bring back some of that information to the community.”
The application deadlines are March 1st and October 1st annually. The city’s website says the selection committee tries to meet within one month of the deadline.