Judy Ablin, volunteer, Chrissie Gertzen, downtown business owner and Heidi Strong with Williams Lake Indian Band share big smiles after learning city council agreed to allocate up to $10,000 for the 2019 Stampede Street Party. Gertzen and Strong are part of the committee planning the event. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Stampede Street Party endorsed financially by city council

A group of business owners and volunteers stepped up to organize the annual event

The 2019 Stampede Street Party will be going ahead with support of up to $10,000 from the City of Williams Lake.

After learning Downtown Williams Lake was not putting on the annual event, a group of business owners and others put together a proposal which was presented to city council during its committee the whole meeting on Tuesday, May 21.

Read more: New businesses consider organizing Stampede Street Party

Speaking for the group, business-owner Chrissie Gertzen said their proposed budget of $16,485 for the street party is not higher than the cost of street parties put on by Downtown Williams Lake.

There’s been lots of support from the community in terms of community groups and from the businesses themselves, Gertzen said.

“Judy, Heidi and myself have been knocking on doors the last four days to get signatures for sign up on the street closures, and we haven’t had a single, ‘no,’ which is wonderful. There seems to be a sense of renewed energy from the local downtown businesses that was generated by the thought of the street party not happening this year.”

Gertzen commented the BIA has always run a “very successful” street party and they are wanting to build on that success.

“In talking to the BIA, there were two problems — lack of volunteers, which I think is something we have all experienced in our volunteer work, and lack of interest from the downtown businesses.”

Read more: Downtown Williams Lake plans new spring festival

Most of the businesses the group has spoken to are planning to participate, Gertzen added, including a couple of businesses have not participated in the last few years.

The scope will be community inclusiveness, meaning whoever wants to participate can participate, which should broaden the volunteer base, Gertzen said.

When asked where else the group has sought funding, she responded they were waiting to learn if the City would support the street party before formally asking for donations from other sources.

City council voted unanimously to receive the proposal, allocate up to $10,000 for the street party, formally request Downtown Williams Lake to contribute financially, and that the City administer the money on behalf of the organizers because at this point the groups is not structured to handle public funds.

The money from the City is anticipated to come from funds held by the Province from the former Economic Development Commission that is presently being dissolved.


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