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Philippa Harris, general manager of the orchestra, said that the security of funding was a constant challenge for all arts and music organisations, that had been amplified in the Covid-19 environment.
The $270,000 grant from the Otago Community Trust would help the orchestra continue to ‘‘foster strong community interest, invest in the growth of our players and young musicians and deliver our concert programme’’, she said.
It would help it deliver its concert programme in Otago over the next three years.
Diccon Sim, chairman of the trust, said the grant was the first significant multi-year grant to be awarded in the arts and culture sector. Previously multi-year funding had only been awarded to well established social service providers.
“We recognise for the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra multi-year funding not only provides certainty, but it also brings confidence, stability and support to that organisation’s ability to plan for the future.”
While it was not possible to offer multi-year grants to all organisations, trustees were willing to look at longer-term funding for well-established organisations that demonstrated robust governance, sound financial management and strategic vision, Mr Sim said.
Other grants approved in the October grants round included a $200,000 grant to Coastguard Wanaka Lakes Inc to assist with building its marine rescue centre on the Eely Point Reserve at Wanaka.
Otago Community Trust chief executive Barbara Bridger said the trust was pleased to be one of the first funders to commit substantially to the project.
Other organisations who got community grants in October included Pacific Trust Otago which was awarded $20,000 to support hosting the Moana Nui Festival; Strath Taieri Historical Society Inc, a $13,450 grant to assist with the cost of making a purpose-built display to enable the Platypus submarine to be exhibited and a $40,000 grant was approved to Karitane School which would support the development of a sealed pump track and large meandering bike track.
The Otago Community Trust gave a total of $848,654 to 41 community organisations in October 2021.
The trust is a philanthropic organisation with its origins in the Dunedin Savings Bank, which funds charitable and other organisations and events that are of benefit to the community.