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City looking at funds for large tourism events

The city is looking at offering a chunk of money that large tourism events could apply for. It would put $200,000 into the Operating Budget for 2017.

Councillor Rory Tarant says they want to support larger events like festivals that get people from outside of the region to come to Grande Prairie.

“The main definition of a large-scale tourism event is an event that is ticketed, multi-day and it is expecting over 2000 people a day. Other guidelines are that it has to be in city limits or at Evergreen Park.”

Councillor Jackie Clayton says she thinks policy 317 is too vague and there needs to be more defining who can apply. She says they don’t want to see the same event applying year over year. She also recommended changing the amount to $100,000 with opportunity to change the amount down the road.

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“I support the initiative of this policy. However, the policy as it is laid out doesn’t have enough economic measurements in it for me to be comfortable with it. We are putting a large amount of money into this year while we have already told our residents what to expect for taxes.”

This policy comes after events and organizations like the Bear Creek Folk Festival have approached the city for money. They received $50,000 from the city of Grande Prairie to hack off some of their debt. After coming out of the first event with a shortfall just over $100,000, they asked the city for 100,000 but only got the support for half.

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