(Artist Peter Ricq painting the new mural at Darcy's Pub/Photo by Jay Wallace Images)

As part of a move to bolster the thriving art community in British Columbia, the provincial government has provided a total of almost $17 million in grants to local artists.

The grant recipients were approved through the BC Arts Council’s independent peer-review process, and awarded between January and July 2018.

“B.C.’s arts community is part of a creative and sustainable economy that works for people. This funding means B.C.’s creators can help develop the arts in communities throughout the province,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

“Investing in creative thinking and skills development through the arts is incredibly important to our province’s future. Congratulations to all of the BC Arts Council grant recipients.”

Independent artists as well as local arts councils, museums, orchestras, dance troupes and several other organizations are beneficiaries of these grants.

In the 2018 budget, the province increased the funds allocated to the BC Arts Council, bringing the total amount to  $29 million in 2018-19.

Over 700 grants have been approved so far this year, and will help arts and culture flourish in more than 200 BC communities.

According to a report from the province, British Columbia has more working artists per capita than anywhere else in Canada.