One of the items on the additional items that city council could fund in the 2014 budget is a grant for the Kamloops Thrive Festival. Last year, we gave a $75 000 grant to the first inaugural festival and, talking to a few of my colleagues, we believed this would be a one time grant.
Thrive was a great event in 2013 and I personally attended and paid for tickets to various seminars and concerts. However, the festival did not make money it's first year. There were a lot of first year learning moments.
This year, the festival is requesting a $37 500 grant from council. They feel strongly they can build on the strengths and learnings from year one and need a bit more funding space to grow the festival to financial sustainability.
On the other hand, there are concerns about going past the first year grant - should public funds be expended again when there are a lot of other important items on the supplemental budget (please see below) and what kind of precedent are we setting? Will we start get more requests of this nature?
I really stuggle wtih this request because I know Thrive has amazing potential and is put on by stellar people. I also feel that we need to look at other funding requests that haven't yet received public funds. I believe Thrive has a great opportunity to market itself for corporate sponsorship.
Would love to hear your thoughts.