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Artspace Arts Management- Bookkeeping for the Arts

artspaceGuest Blogger:   Our special guest contributor this month is Randy Joynt, executive director of Artspace.

We are fortunate in Manitoba to have a vibrant and varied arts and cultural scene that goes a long way to defining who we are as Manitobans. We are also fortunate to have companies like Telpay and individuals like W.H. (Bill) Loewen that value and support arts and culture.

In 2013, with the support of Telpay and Mr. Loewen, Artspace launched Artspace Arts Management (AAM), a program to provide bookkeeping services to small and mid-sized arts and cultural organizations.

Arts and culture and a large part of our economy and the organizations that create, produce and present cultural offerings are for the most part, not for profit businesses that employ people and buy and sell products. This means, just like any other business, they have books to keep. As small to mid sized arts and cultural organizations do not have dedicated finance staff, they historically utilize contract bookkeepers or rely on another staff person with multiple duties to do their bookkeeping. These practices come with many challenges; from the contract bookkeepers leaving the organization or not being familiar with the unique requirements of not for profit or charitable organizations, to too much information resting with one staff person.

After two years of operation, AAM is flourishing and meeting the needs of small to mid sized arts and cultural organizations by providing standardized, cost effective bookkeeping services and promoting best financial management practices. As a charitable and not for profit organization itself, Artspace could not have managed the start up costs of this new program without the invaluable support of Telpay and Mr. Loewen.

It has been exciting to provide a needed service to a client group that is contributing so much to our province and to add stability to their back office operations so that more time and resources are dedicated to their core work, creating and producing shows, exhibits, festivals, films, books and more.

Telpay and Mr. Loewen have long been champions and supporters of arts and culture in Manitoba. They exemplify the importance of giving back to the community and like the arts and cultural organizations they support, we are better for them.