New festival an investment

Kamloops Daily News
December 3, 2012 01:00 AM

Everyone knows it takes money to make money.

So while $75,000 may seem like a hefty chunk of change for the City to spend on a new summer festival, the benefits expected will make it a worthwhile investment.

In a 6-3 vote last week, City council set a maximum of $75,000 as a grant for the Kamloops Thrive Festival, which aims to become a signature event for the city.

There is lots of support for the cultural festival, which will include concerts, exhibits and activities such as gardening, cooking, sports, music, film and photography.

The June 21-23 event at Thompson Rivers University expects 1,000 participants in its inaugural year but eventually expects to run over four days and draw 5,000 people to Kamloops.

The "summer camp for adults," which is how B.C. Living Arts Society artistic director Alan Corbishley described it, targets people aged 40 and above, with its core group in the 55 to 65 range. In other words, people who will spend money enjoying themselves in our city.

Many groups have already thrown their support behind the festival, including the society, TRU, Tourism Kamloops, the Kamloops Art Gallery, Western Canada Theatre, both MLAs and The Daily News, as well as a strong group of individuals helping to guide the event.

Kamloops is known as the Tournament Capital for a reason - it has the infrastructure and volunteer base needed to host large-scale events and it's a desirable place to visit with our scenery, amenities, pleasant weather and friendly people.

The City recognizes that being a host city for major events costs money - just putting together a bid can run from $5,000 to $100,000, City facilities and business operations supervisor Jeff Putnam said earlier this year.

Such events also require in-kind and cash investments.

Backing the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games, for instance, came with a $3.4-million price tag (split between the City and province) but the spinoffs were estimated in the range of $9 million.

So we predict that spending $75,000 to secure artists and set up operations for the Kamloops Thrive Festival will pay off many times over.


© Kamloops Daily News

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