New festival grant approvals delayed

New Westminster Coun. Chuck Puchmayr -
New Westminster Coun. Chuck Puchmayr
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City council wants some more information before it gives the green light to grants for three new festivals in New Westminster.

Two of the requests involve concepts the Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) is working with the city on. They’d like to hold a Columbia Street block party this summer and to do that are requesting $10,000 in cash and $18,000 of in-kind support. They’re also looking at the possibility of putting a temporary outdoor ice rink in the Downtown area sometime next winter. The initial proposal is for $44,000 in cash and $10,000 of in-kind support.

Coun. Chuck Puchmayr said since the BIA collects revenue from all Downtown businesses he wants to make sure they’re not getting hit twice to pay for the events from both their levy and their property tax. “I have to understand more before I go ahead,” said Puchmayr.

Council did approve helping out the BIA with in-kind support for the annual Royal City Show and Shine and the Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest that debuted last year.

The third event is not-so-new. The Uptown Business Association wants to continue Uptown Live which it started last year in partnership with the Hyack Festival Association and is looking for $44,000 in cash and in-kind support.

Council was told Hyack did not include the musical street festival in its request for 2014 which totaled $225,000 compared to $180,000 in 2013. Hyack’s request was also delayed pending a financial review that financial director Gary Holowatiuk said is expected to wrap up in the next three weeks.

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