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This year’s Hyack Festival ‘spectacularly successful’

The Hyack Festival Association’s credibility was on the line the last two weeks and it delivered, according to its president, Peter Goodwin.

That has him optimistic city council noticed.

Council slashed its funding to Hyack drastically in light of its handling of the dismissal of executive director Douglas Smith last year. The association asked the city for a $185,000 grant and $30,000 of in-kind services this year. But council gave only $15,000 and in-kind services for the Hyack parade, and $10,000 toward Canada Day fireworks.

Saturday’s parade and Uptown StreetFest concluded the annual nine-day festival.

“It was spectacularly successful. Part of our job was to regain our reputation and we did so,” said Goodwin.

He noted most of city council was at Saturday’s activities. In his opinion, they saw a group of volunteers that can do the job and will continue to do so in the future.

Goodwin said he was particularly pleased with pulling off the Uptown StreetFest with just a couple weeks notice.

He said the one-block event on Belmont Street was thrown together after the Uptown Business Association decided to reschedule Uptown Live! to Aug. 10. The change of date surprised Goodwin.

“It seemed crazy to not take advantage of [having the events together],” said Goodwin. “It came together really well. It was absolutely packed.”

Although they were successful this year, Goodwin isn’t as optimistic for the future unless the city restores its funding to Hyack.

“We pitched in and showed we can do the job and do it well. But eventually it depletes our resources, and we can’t do that continuously,” said Goodwin.

If the city doesn’t come through, finding independent sources of funding can be “tricky,” said Goodwin. He noted Hyack used to hold a gala fundraiser in partnership with the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce.

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