Five local festivals have something to celebrate, after a donation of thousands of dollars from the provincial government.
The Celebrate Ontario 2014 program is responsible for a boost in funding for the Dinosaur War by the Indian Reptile Zoo, Erring on the Mount by Public Energy, Everyday is a Special Event at Lang Pioneer Village, Musicfest and the 2014 season at 4th Line Theatre.
- Dinosaur War – Indian Reptile Zoo – $25,500 in funding
- Erring On The Mount – Public Energy – $34,000 in funding
- Everyday is a Special Event – Lang Pioneer Village – $53,550 in funding
- Musicfest – Peterborough Little Lake Musicfest Inc. – $23,375 in funding
- 2014 Summer Season – 4th Line Theatre 2014 Summer Season –$63,750
“Helping local festivals and events grow and thrive is part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario’s greatest strengths – its people and strategic partnerships,” states the government media release.
The curator of the reptile zoo, Bry Loyst, said, without the supportive funding and its local business sponsors, “our specialty zoo and sanctuary could never have launched and grown the Dinosaur Fund Raising Event.
“Our attendance has increased four fold and we are now a major summer attraction in the Peterborough-Kawartha-Northumberland market. Clearly a small amount of capital goes a long way when directed at unique community events,” Loyst said. Last year, the zoo’s dinosaur exhibit received $30,000 through the fund.
Public Energy’s artistic director Bill Kimball echoed the sentiment.
“The funding we receive will support the biggest multidisciplinary art festival in the city, with more than 50 Peterborough-area artists working in all forms, from visual art to performance and multi-media. Taking place at the Mount Community Centre, former home to the Sisters of St. Joseph, Erring On The Mount is a new kind of festival, drawing new visitors to the city interested both in the arts and in seeing how Peterborough is re-purposing heritage buildings in an imaginative way.”
MPP for Peterborough Jeff Leal applauded the funding announcement.
“Celebrate Ontario helps us put a spotlight on the rich culture and traditions that our region has to offer for residents and visitors to enjoy,” he said.
With tourism a billion dollar industry that supports more than 300,000 jobs in Ontario, many of them youth, the program is being touted as an economic boon.
“Through Celebrate Ontario, our government is attracting tourism into our regions that strengthen our local economies and build out provincial profile as a premier destination that offers exciting experiences for visitors and residents alike,” said Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Michael Chan.
Peterborough Musicfest said it was thrilled with the funding.
“The Celebrate Ontario grant will go a long way in helping secure great talent for the Fred Anderson stage this summer,” said Musicfest general manager Tracey Randall. Last year, Musicfest received $16,000 through the program.
And, 4th Line Theatre, as the largest professional arts organization in the Peterborough area, said the funding from the government over the years has been invaluable.
“The 2014 summer season promises to be the theatre’s most exciting and innovative in our 23 season history; in great part because of the cornerstone support of the Celebrate Ontario program,” said managing artistic producer Kim Blackwell. Last year, it received $70,000.
According to Leal’s office, 229 festivals and events across Ontario received funding. This is the same fund that supplied the Boots and Hearts Festival with $350,000 and the Flavour Festival Peterborough with $23,365 last year.
Other regional festivals receiving support this year:
- Float Your Fanny Down The Ganny – Port Hope $12,325
- The Westben Arts Festival – Trent Hills $7,820
- Globus Theatre 2014 Summer Season – Kawartha Lakes $47,137
- Bancroft Wheels, Water & Wings 2014 – Bancroft $5,015
- Hastings Waterfront Festival – Trent Hills $9,881
- The Gallery Row Show – Trent Hills $46,750
- Shelter Valley Folk Festival – Alnwick/Haldimand $16,256