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New recovery funding will help local fairs, festivals and events resume in the Kootenays

New Democrat MLA Brittny Anderson says new support from the BC New Democrat government will help local fairs, festivals and community events resume in the Kootenays.

“Arts and culture festivals are such a huge part of our Kootenay lifestyle,” said MLA Anderson.

“The pandemic and the uncertainty it brings has been incredibly difficult for many of us, especially for event organizers. I know many of us are craving a big ol’ Kootenay party, and I’m so excited to see that our government is supporting these events so they are able to come back strong and bring us all the joy that we’ve been missing out on.”

Seven fairs, festivals, and events in the region will benefit from nearly $400,000 in recovery funding. Events and festivals like Shambhala, the Starbelly Jam Music Festival, and the Tiny Lights Festival are among the recipients.

Jimmy Bundschuh, Founder of Shambhala Music Festival, had this to say about the grant, “On behalf of myself and the whole team at Shambhala Music Festival, I would like to thank the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport for their support. We are sincerely grateful to receive this grant from the Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund.”

It’s no secret that the last two years have been very difficult for those who work in events and the music industry, and we have not been immune to the challenges,” continued Bundshcuh.

“This grant will support us with the tremendous challenge of returning after two years of postponed programming. We look forward to creating unforgettable experiences for our guests, as well as getting our staff back to work doing the job they love to do after a very difficult two years.”

These fairs, festivals, and events are among the 680 events across the province supported by the BC New Democrat government’s investment. The government is providing nearly $30 million in one-time grants to eligible event organizers to support their efforts to resume safely. Grant amounts for each event are up to 20% of the total event budget, up to a maximum of $250,000.

Successful recipients demonstrated the economic and social benefits of their event, as well as strong local or regional support. Examples of eligible expenses include operational costs, health and safety measures, venue rental, marketing, wages and promotion.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the New Democrat government has worked closely with B.C.’s tourism sector and provided $225 million in support to ensure businesses and non-profits can continue to draw visitors and benefit local communities for years to come.