City Council approved a new event hosting grant policy at its Tuesday meeting geared at generating economic activity from event tourism.
“There is a very obvious symbiotic relationship between economic development and event tourism, and communities across B.C. are now recognizing this potential and are integrating strategies for event tourism into their economic development and tourism plans,” says Mayor Kerry Cook.
Event hosting grants are the basis by which communities provide incentive for non-profits and local organizations to focus on event hosting. Events that encourage tourism to the community have economic spin offs that directly benefit local businesses. Hotels, restaurants, caterers, security companies, campgrounds, insurance companies, event rental companies, taxi services, signage and print companies all benefit directly from initiatives that support event hosting initiatives.
There are three types of grants proposed within the grant: event development, event growth, and event travel.
“Event development grants encourage the design and development of new events, event growth grants encourage event organizers to increase the number of participants, and event travel grants subsidize travel costs of event participants,” says Kim Emsley-Leik, events and marketing co-ordinator. “All of these initiatives bring dollars into the community.”
The City of Williams Lake currently provides free assistance to those local non-profits that are organizing events that encourage out-of-town visitors and promote overnight stays. Relevant event-hosting materials have been compiled and are available on www.activewilliamslake.com under the “planning an event” section.