Applications for the B.C. Fairs, Festivals, and Events Fund (BCFFE), launched in 2021 by the Provincial Government to assist in the recovery of the hard-hit events industry, are now being accepted.
“The past three years have been incredibly difficult for people in the tourism industry, including live events, and we know not every business has fully recovered,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. “Our government is proud to provide funding to support fairs, festivals, and events throughout B.C. as they re-establish themselves. We know that these types of gatherings fill British Columbians’ hearts with joy. We also know that in many cases they support a greater economy right across the province.”
The program provides one-time grants for up to 20% of an event's total budget, to a maximum of $250,000 per application. Sporting events, arts and culture events, community celebrations, agricultural fairs, and rodeos are all eligible. Organizations can submit more than one application if there are multiple, distinct events that qualify (recurring instances of the same event do not qualify). The grants will cover expenses like operational costs, health-and-safety measures, venue rental, marketing, wages and promotion.
“This timely investment will ensure events and festivals can continue, bringing tourism and economic benefits to the province,” said Walt Judas, CEO, Tourism Industry Association of BC. “Local events in communities large and small bring increased exposure to communities and provide employment opportunities for residents while contributing to the vibrancy of the community. This is an exciting announcement for the industry.”
The fund, which will provide up to $30 million in grants, is for events taking place between April 1, 2023, and December 30, 2024. Other mandatory eligibility criteria for an event, as outlined on the Government of BC website, include:
- Be open to the general public
- Be limited in duration
- Earn revenue from ticket sales, entry donations, vendor fees or other sources
- Have a minimum operating budget of $10,000
- Align with government priorities for tourism, sport or the arts
- Show local and/or regional support
- Be financially viable and secured
- Events in the bid phase are not eligible
Applications are being accepted until 11:59 p.m. PST on March 3, 2023, and will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Funding decisions will be communicated by April 2023. All decisions are final.
For more information regarding eligibility, the application process, and follow-up reporting, visit the Government of BC website.