The B.C. government is relaunching a program to help fund tourism events with up to $5 million in new money.
Starting today, tourism-event organizers can submit funding applications for up to 10 per cent of their events' budgets. The events must take place sometime between October 1 and September 30, 2023. The government is accepting applications until May 31.
The program had operated pre-pandemic, but was paused when health orders banned large events.
Some events that previously obtained funding were:
• The Surf Canada National Championships and Canadian Olympic Trials, which saw the selection of Canadian athletes for Tokyo 2020, where surfing made its Olympic debut;
• Women Deliver 2019 Culture Night, which showcased B.C.'s culture and entertainment at the world's largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights and well-being of girls and women;
• Honda Celebration of Lights in Vancouver, which is set for late July, generates an estimated $170 million in economic activity and has attracted crowds estimated at more than 1.4 million;
• Sunfest Country Music Festival in Lake Cowichan, which attracted thousands of music fans from all over the world; and
• Crankworx Whistler, which brought together the best athletes in the mountain bike community to compete in a variety of elite competitions.
The program is set to help fund events that attract visitors from outside local areas, align with key tourism strategies and broader government priorities, demonstrate financial sustainability, and support diversity and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, according to the B.C. government.
In 2019, this program provided $3.9 million to fund 70 events.