Pride and Transgender flags wave on the lawn of Fernie’s City Hall. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Pride and Transgender flags wave on the lawn of Fernie’s City Hall. (Soranne Floarea/ The Free Press)

Festivals and events in Fernie to get $190k in provincial funding

Griz Days, the Pride Festival and the Wednesday Socials are among beneficiaries of $30 million spread around B.C.

The provincial government has opened its wallet to support events and festivals throughout British Columbia, with over $190,000 coming to Fernie alone.

The funding is coming through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport’s ‘Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund’ grant.

Nearly $30 million is being spread around the province, with 10 events in Fernie (out of 693 provincially) getting splashed with cash in what are one-time grants designed to support long-running local events that benefit the mental health and well-being of the communities they take place in.

The Elk Valley Pride Festival, Fernie Dunbar Summer Series Canada Cup / BC Cup Downhill Mountain Bike Race, Fernie Gravel Grind, Griz Days, Reel Canadian Film Festival, Elk Valley Gymnastics Club, Wapiti Music Festival, Wednesday Socials, TransRockies Singletrack 6, and Dunbar Summer Series – Canadian Mountain Bike Championships have each received funding for events in 2022, with over $190,000 coming to events in the valley.

The funding can represent up to 20 percent of an events total budget.

The largest recipient locally – being the Transrockies Singletrack 6 Mountain Bike Race which received $79,000 – is split between Fernie, Kimberley and Rossland.

Likewise, the Dunbar Summer Series Canadian Mountain Bike Championships ($10,000) funding is shared with Panoramaand Kicking Horse.

The largest local-only share was the Wapiti Music Festival, which received $45,000. The festival will be returning after a two-year hiatus in Fernie due to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Wednesday Socials have been allocated $18,550, Griz Days (which is returning for the 45th time in March) will receive $10,000, and the Elk Valley Pride Festival (which takes place in September) has received $11,240.

Fernie Pride Society administrator, Courtney Baker said that they were grateful for the funding for not only themselves, but all events and festivals being supported.

“Looking at the 10 amazing events that were funded locally, it becomes evident of the importance of arts and culture to the community and the wealth of talent that exists here.

“Thanks to this program, Fernie Pride will once again be able to expand upon the Elk Valley Pride Festival and Spectrum Queer Arts Festival in September 2022,” she said.

“Recognition by the province of the integral nature of inclusion and equity for all people is a boon for sure and we look forward to welcoming people to Fernie once again for four days of 2SLGBTQ+ celebrations and education.”

A full list of recipients across the province can be found on the BC government website.

READ MORE: Griz Days goes (mostly) virtual
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