By Letter to the Editor on August 28, 2020.
As a small-business owner in Lethbridge we have been working on getting a mural on our building since we moved into our premises in 2015. We even applied for the Small Projects Art Grant with the City last year, and was told our application was on hold because it included a line item in the budget to account for the permit costs the City imposed (the hope was to get the $1,600 line item removed, since the grant was funded by the City anyway, and we would be paying that money back to the City for the permits).
Recently, the Allied Arts Council and the City of Lethbridge announced a new Expression of Interest program for murals with the same amount of funding being available ($15,000).
Except the previous program was equally accessible to all businesses in the city regardless of location, and this new program only provides full funding for businesses within the downtown, a limited geographic zone.
Time for the City to realize that while, yes, the downtown is very important, the city is much larger than that, and businesses outside of the downtown also deserve access to the same programs. Areas of the northside, the Warehouse District, and other older areas are falling into neglect and the City is responsible for making sure there is equitable access to programs for all local business owners.
Please do better.