Kulturregion Obersimmental-Saanenland-Pays-d'Enhaut supports local people engaged in the cultural sector in the three regions with an annual sum of CHF 150,000. Because of the pandemic, however, there have been practically no cultural events for almost a year. A dilemma for the association. "We can only give money if culture takes place in public," explains the president of the association Matthias Moser.
People in the cultural sector have been hit particularly hard by the corona crisis. There have been no theatre performances, concerts or exhibitions for months. But that is exactly what the Kulturregion Obersimmental-Saanenland-Pays-d'Enhaut needs in order to fulfil its statutory task.
Funding slumped by half
On average, the association supports cultural events with about CHF 150,000 a year. In 2020, expenditure has fallen by about half. For many people in the cultural sector income is collapsing while expenditure remains the same. Kulturregion is left with their money intended for cultural promotion. "Our hands are tied," emphasises association president Matthias Moser. The canton and the respective associations are responsible for shortfalls as a result of Corona. "That's our dilemma: on the one hand, the Canton of Bern asks us to use the money, but on the other hand we are not allowed to give compensation for events that didn't take place." The board now hopes that public culture will soon take place again and that the money can flow.
The association has an annual budget of around CHF 150,000. The cantons of Bern and Vaud contribute CHF 75,000 and 60,000 respectively, the rest comes from municipalities, parishes, businesses and membership fees.
Clear guidelines for applicants
The association supports cultural events with a connection to one of the three regions. “We are not allowed to support purely commercial, touristic or school events. Moser explains the conditions that entitle applicants to a possible financial contribution: "The event must either take place in the region, the artist must come from the region or the region must be represented at an event – for example at an exhibition about our local customs."
Based on AvS/Anita Moser