B.C. fairs, festivals, events benefit from recovery funding

December 13, 2021 at 10:16 am  BC, News, Politics

Donna Spencer, artistic producer, Firehall Arts Centre –

“The Firehall is thrilled to have received support from the BC Fairs, Festivals and Events program as our organization and all of the performing artists we work with have been deeply impacted by the pandemic closures. Our closure has also deeply affected neighbouring restaurants and coffee bars that our audiences and artists visit regularly, and they have welcomed us back with open arms.”

Amanda Montgomery, Jr., All Native Basketball Tournament host committee –

“The Jr. All Native brings First Nations youth from across the province together. This event is so important to the youth and the communities that support them. This grant will make it possible to bring everyone together again to celebrate sport, culture and community.”

Esther Rausenberg, artistic and executive director, Eastside Arts Society –

“The past two years have been extremely challenging and disruptive for arts organizations; I am incredibly grateful and encouraged to hear that the Province recognizes the issues and difficulties we have encountered as a result of the pandemic. This $70,000 of support will make a significant impact toward maintaining stability of our valued arts and cultural programs, while building vibrant communities through artistic exploration and connection, including the annual Culture Crawl Festival and the Studio 101 program, which offers roughly 180 inner-city school children with free art making workshops each year.”

Court Smith, president, Williams Lake Stampede Association –

“The famous Williams Lake Stampede is a major event that has a significant impact on the local economy. Our visitors are local, regional, provincial and even international, which makes this a unique one-of-a-kind event. The board of directors of the Williams Lake Stampede Association are thrilled to receive a Festivals, Fairs and Events Recovery grant. This financial boost will assist us in remaining to be a viable organization and fulfil our commitment to the community of Williams Lake.”

Dominic Lai, development, marketing and operations director, Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival –

“We’re excited to welcome our visitors back to False Creek as we celebrate culture and sport at North America’s flagship dragon-boat festival. Running exciting — and most importantly, safe — events like the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival are critical in reconnecting our community. We’re thankful for support from the BC Fairs, Festivals, and Events program as we plan for 2022 alongside our community, small business, cultural and industry partners.”

Shelley Frost, president and CEO, Pacific National Exhibition –

“The support of this program will provide us a bridge to a brighter future. Fairs, festivals and events have been devastated for two seasons and the Pacific National Exhibition is extremely grateful that the Province has heard this message and has actively worked with industry to support as many affected events and organizations as possible. The PNE produces events of all sizes and this funding will help to restore jobs and enhance the economic impact these events have throughout our communities. And beyond that, this funding helps us get safely back to the types of activities that bring communities together, build social connections and generate a lifetime of memories with family and friends – something we all need more of as we emerge from this pandemic.”

Nina Horvath, executive director, Coastal Jazz and Blues Society –

“The Coastal Jazz and Blues Society is thrilled to receive this funding from the Province to support the TD International Jazz Festival. These funds will help us to produce a safe, live festival program in 2022 that supports artists from throughout BC and beyond. We look forward to reconnecting with our community and connecting artists and audiences through the power of jazz.”

Gurpreet Sian, executive director, South Asian Arts Society –

“Thank you to the Government of B.C. for responding to the challenges that arts organizations have faced during the past two years by creating the B.C. Fairs, Festival, and Events Recovery Fund. South Asian Arts Society has been heavily impacted by pandemic-related closures. The funding support from this program will allow us to once again create safe, artistic spaces where artists can play and the community can gather in person, including live theatre events during our annual Monsoon Festival of Performing Arts.”

Doug Cox, executive producer and artistic director, Vancouver Island MusicFest –

“We are elated to have received this funding from the B.C. Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. Frankly, this assistance will help put us back on the map as one of the Island’s premiere cultural tourism events and will allow us to get our feet back on the ground after a tumultuous couple of years. We are so fortunate to receive this support and are able to sigh and take a big breath of relief now as we head further into planning VI MusicFest 22. Thank you!”

Connie Patterson, president, Dawson Creek Exhibition Association –

“The Dawson Creek Exhibition is known as the Greatest Show in the Peace and we are extremely happy to have received the B.C. Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery grant. The support of this program will provide our event with a brighter future and funding for the 100th anniversary for August 2022. The exhibition produces a six-day event, which brings families together throughout our Peace River area and beyond. We host an annual agriculture fair, one of eight tour rodeo stops in Canada, chuckwagons, midway and a live concert. Funding will help to get us safely back to hosting activities that bring families together in a safe environment to visit and show our animals.”

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