Council renews Festivals Burnaby program
Burnaby's Festivals Burnaby grant program will continue for another three years after council approved $670,000 in further funding from gaming revenues.
The program started in 2010 as a way to assist community groups in putting on festivals and special events in Burnaby, as well as provide a formal source of support for city-run events at Deer Lake Park and fund event-related costs incurred by Burnaby RCMP and the parks and engineering departments, according to a city staff report.
Of the funding, $250,000 provides grants for community festivals and events through an application process and $220,000 covers unbudgeted city costs in support of the events. Another $200,000 is to support the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra concert at Deer Lake Park and free summer programs and performances at Civic Square Metrotown.
In 2011, the program provided $104,760 to community groups and in 2012, it was $120,820.
Coun. Pietro Calendino, chair of the executive committee of council, said at Monday's council meeting that it didn't use up the entire funding allotment "because we wanted to be cautious and conservative," and make sure groups were able to put on festivals of such magnitude and be responsible with their use of public money.
"I think we're now more comfortable allocating to what the demand is," Calendino said.
Mayor Derek Corrigan quipped, "I love the words 'cautious' and 'conservative' when it's attached to dispensing public funds."
The program has attracted applicants from regular events and a few new events, and has helped promote the many annual events in Burnaby, the report said. It has also provided sustained funding for related city costs, which helps in planning.
Council approved amendments to criteria for the grant applications, including that applicants must show an ability to be self-sufficient. Organizations will also be limited to a maximum of one grant per year.
Categories for applications are also being changed. "Neighbourhood events" will now be those with budgets of up to $10,000 and are eligible for maximum grants of 40 per cent of expenses up to $4,000, up from the previous $3,000.
Small-scale festivals and special events will be those with budgets up to $30,000 and are eligible for grants to a maximum 40 per cent of expenses up to $12,000, up from $10,000. And large-scale events will be those budgeted at over $30,000 and are eligible for a maximum of 33 per cent of expenses up to $25,000, down from the previous $50,000.