The Bear Creek Folk Festival received money for their deficit last year from the city, but that isn’t in the plans for them this year. Festival Producer Sarah Card explains that the first few years of a festival are hard and tweaks have been made to stay away from asking for money.
“There has never been a festival like ours that has started in Canada that hasn’t had a deficit in the first couple of years. It is something that we knew going in. It was something that was hard to explain to people until they saw the event and having proof of concept to be able to make an ask like that.”
Card explains that all the little lessons that they learned in the first year are being implemented this year. To make the beer garden experience more enjoyable, there is plans to add shade tents and speakers for music. The size and concept of the event is being kept the same for 2017.
“We work really hard to find ways to save money, but not at the cost of the quality of the festival. It takes a couple of years, kind of like running a business, It takes a couple of years where you are really financially safe.”
There was a lot positive feedback for the first annual event in 2016, according to Card. She says although they do everything they can to stick to the budget, at the end of the day, “it costs what it costs”. She adds that the city saw how events are changing in the area and they have made some tweaks to funds that festivals, like the Bear Creek Folk Festival, can apply for. They received $50,000 in 2016 to cover the costs. They originally asked for $100,000 and they were turned down.
“We don’t intend to do that again. We are being really careful how we are putting things together. We are able this time around to apply to more normal means like grants now that that type of funding is in place.”
The event will run 3 days from August 18th to 20th, 2017. There are over 30 musicians from around the province, country and around the world hitting the numerous stages in Muskoseepi Park. There will be children workshops as well as adult. Card says the entire festival is family friendly with children 12 and under getting in for free.
You can learn more about the lineup and get your tickets on their website.