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Festival funds keep Vernon Winter Carnival rolling

Applications open for B.C. Fairs, Festivals and Events fund
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Thousands came out to watch as the 64th annual Vernon Winter Carnival parade wound its way through downtown Vernon Saturday, Feb. 3, 2024. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

A 64-year-old winter tradition in Vernon was able to continue this year thanks to a boost from the B.C. government.

Vernon Winter Carnival is one of the recipients of the B.C. Fairs, Festivals and Events (BCFFE) fund.

“Fairs, festivals and events are the heart of our communities and contribute to making this province a vibrant place to live and visit,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Our government is proud to support the people who organize and attend these events so we can continue to rebuild our events and tourism sectors for today and the future.”

The province is providing $15 million in one-time grants to eligible events through the fund.

Event organizers will be able to tackle ongoing challenges the sector faces, such as reduced revenue and sponsorships, and rising costs of equipment and services. Pandemic-related impacts on events and communities were amplified by the worst wildfire season in 2023, causing event cancellations and a decline in visitors to certain areas of the province.

“Thanks to the B.C. Fairs, Festivals and Events funding the 64th Vernon Winter Carnival is hosting 136 fantastic events for families and 38 of those are free,” said Kris Fuller, Carnival executive director. “Families, regardless of their financial situation, can come together and enjoy the festivities, fostering stronger bonds and creating cherished memories. The carnival is about community, inclusion, tradition, spirit and fun, and thanks to BCFFE’s invaluable contribution we were able to continue something very special for citizens and guests of Vernon.”

Eligible events include sporting events, arts and culture events, community celebrations, agricultural fairs and rodeos. Examples of eligible expenses include operational costs, Indigenous consultation and honorariums, venue rental, marketing, wages and promotion.

Applications will be accepted until Feb. 25, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. Events between April 1, 2024, and Sept. 30, 2025, are eligible for funding.

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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