Four organizations in the Williams Lake area receive funding from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport through its BC fairs, festivals and events that benefit from the recovery of funds.
The 94th Annual Williams Lake Stampede will receive $187,000, Cariboo Blues in July 2022 will receive $6,880, Fiddling with Radio will receive $5,545, and Speak Our Truth: Competition Pow Wow will receive $21,280.
“The famous Williams Lake Stampede is a major event that has a significant impact on the local economy,” Williams Lake Stampede Association President Court Smith said after hearing about the grant.
For two consecutive years, the Stampede has been canceled due to COVID-19.
Smith said visitors are local, regional, provincial and even international, making the Stamped a unique event.
“The Williams Lake Stampede Association Board of Directors is thrilled to receive a Festivals, Fairs and Events Recovery Grant. This financial boost will help us remain a viable organization and fulfill our commitment to the Williams Lake community,” said Smith.
Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport, said the province is “thrilled” that people can once again safely enjoy local fairs, festivals and events with their families and friends.
“We heard from an overwhelming majority of event organizers that grants, not loans, were key to keeping their doors open to the public and employed workers. Our government has responded to their call to action because we know the major impact these community gatherings have on our mental health and the local businesses around them.
In a news release, the government noted that grant amounts for each organization represent up to 20% of the event’s total budget to a maximum of $250,000.
Grant applications were accepted between August 27 and October 1, 2021 for events scheduled between July 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022.
“Beneficiaries have demonstrated economic and social benefits to the community and strong local or regional support. Eligible expenses include operational costs, health and safety measures, venue hire, marketing, salaries and promotion,” the press release reads.