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City Limits Press 1

Council orders probe of art group's grant

By Elsie Ross
(Herald staff writer)

The Calgary Region Arts Foundation has been ordered by city council to "carefully revise" last year's $10.000 grant to a group which has been critical of council.

If the application from Syntax, a visual artists' group and publisher of the City Limits newspaper, doesn't meet arts foundation criteria the group should be asked to return the money, council decided in a budget meeting.

Ald. Don Hartman, who called for the review, said he doesn't like the idea of city money being used to support a newspaper which has criticized council decisions such as deciding to run the Light Rail Transit (LRT) down the middle of 9A Street N.W.

However, Ouida Touche, CRAF chairman, denied the grant money had been spent on City Limits. She said Syntax, which described itself as "an organization designed to offer space and support to artists interested in the media." had received the money for a specific purpose- a festival with international artists.

The event didn't take place and the money was instead spent on rent, salaries and other administration costs, she said. Some groups, said Touche. aren't able to do what they planned and come back to CRAF and request changes in the use of the grant but the foundation is "very firm" in refusing their requests and asking the money be returned.