February 05, 2014 - 9:08 AM
KELOWNA – Keloha, the weekend music festival held in downtown Kelowna and featuring some of the biggest names in indie, rock and alternative music, has received a one-time grant of $15,000 from the City of Kelowna to help keep it financially viable.
The festival is in its third year and bills itself as an “all ages” event featuring music, art exhibits and interactive activities.
According to Event Development Supervisor Mariko Siggers, the city allocates $50,000 a year to the Strategic Event Fund, with unused funds carried forward. Grants are available to event producers in their first three years of existence.
“The purpose of the strategic events fund is to enhance our event landscape through securing new events or supporting significant developments in existing ones,” Siggers says. “Keloha qualifies as a new event…in that it is in its third year of existence.”
The festival was not financially successful in its first year and to boost ticket sales in year two, Wet Ape spent significant dollars securing high profile talent like MGMT and The Trews.
“Unfortunately, these increases in expenses didn’t generate the revenue required to offset the higher price tags and the event lost $100,000 last year.”
Siggers says following the festival in 2013, RCMP agreed that the level of staffing should be scaled back, saving between $3500 and $6000.
Event organizer Scott Emslie says the event has gone smoothly in the past two years and local police are willing to scale back their presence in 2014.
“I know last year, because it was the second year, they still weren’t sure the type of crowd that was coming,” he says. “After last year they’re much more comfortable with this crowd.”
“In Kelowna there is no other festival like this one,” Siggers says. “It adds to our departments goals of fostering a well-balanced, dynamic events schedule, providing a variety of opportunities for residents and visitors of Kelowna.”
Several councillors expressed their support for the grant, saying that it is a marquee event that should be given every chance to succeed.
“That this is a Kelowna-based event bares a lot of merit and it may just be on the cusp of success,” says Coun. Mohini Singh. “A little push, a little support, might take it really far.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014