Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund

The Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund provides one-time grants to event organizers to support the safe restart of events across B.C.

Last updated: August 27, 2021

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How the fund works

The Fairs, Festivals and Events Recovery Fund (the fund) provides a one-time grant for up to 20% of your total event budget, up to a maximum of $250,000 per event. You can use these funds to cover a range of operational expenses.

Application process

Funds are limited and grants will be awarded through a competitive process.

Applications must be submitted by 1 pm PST on October 1, 2021. Funding decisions will be communicated by November 2021.

Submitting multiple applications

Organizations may submit more than one application. Each eligible event requires a separate application package.

You cannot submit applications for recurring instances of the same event. For example, if you have an annual event that took place in 2021 and you are planning to hold the event in 2022, you can only apply once.

Organizations that submit more than one application may be asked to assign priority to their applications.


Eligibility

Who can apply

You can apply for the fund if you are organizing an eligible event and it meets the eligibility criteria.

Eligible organizations

  • Registered not-for-profit organizations
  • For-profit organizations
  • Indigenous Nations
  • Municipalities or other local government bodies

Ineligible organizations

  • Federal, provincial or territorial governments and their agencies
  • Crown corporations
  • Educational institutions, including universities, colleges and school boards
  • Unions
  • Individuals

What kinds of events are eligible

Eligible events must:

  • Offer programming to the public on a single day or happen on fewer than 21 days in a calendar year
  • Earn revenue from ticket sales, entry donations, vendor fees or other sources

 

  • Sporting events and festivals, such as:
    • Spectator sport events
    • Organized races
    • Exhibition events
    • Tournaments and competitions
  • Arts and culture events and festivals, such as:
    • Music, film, mural, multi-cultural festivals
    • Performances
    • Art walks
  • Community celebrations and gatherings, such as:
    • Annual events, festivals, or celebrations
    • Culinary events
  • Agricultural fairs, rodeos, and exhibitions

 

  • Commercial, retail, religious, political or academic events
    • Consumer shows
    • Conventions
    • Meetings and conferences
    • Seminars and clinics
    • Rallies
    • Educational competitions
    • Christmas craft fairs or other vendor-based markets
    • Farmers' markets
  • Shows, tours or recurring events held for more than 21 days in a calendar year
    • Summer series music concerts
    • Seasonal spectator sport games/leagues
  • Neighbourhood block parties
  • Fully virtual events
  • Events where the primary purpose is fundraising or contests

Email COVID.Tourism.Recovery@gov.bc.ca to discuss eligibility if:

  • Your event type is not listed
  • You're not sure whether your event is eligible
  • Your event runs longer than 21 days

Mandatory eligibility criteria

To be eligible events must:

  • Take place in B.C. between July 1, 2021 and September 30, 2022
    • Retroactive funding is available
  • Have a minimum operating budget of $10,000
  • Align with government priorities for tourism, sport or the arts
  • Show local and/or regional support
  • Be financially viable and secured
    • Events in the bid phase are not eligible

Community impact

Eligible events must provide a high level of community impact, like enhancing the quality of life and community wellness. You can show this by describing:

  • The number of volunteers that will be engaged
  • The number of actual or anticipated attendees
  • Partnerships and collaboration within the community
  • Sponsorship and funding leveraged from other sources

Additional weight will be given to applications that show:

  • Extraordinary financial need
  • High economic impact and the ability to draw visitors to the community during non-peak tourism seasons
  • Benefits that are distributed across a region
  • They have not received funding from other provincial or federal programs
  • The host community has been particularly badly affected by either the COVID-19 public health measures or wildfires
  • The event actively promotes diversity and inclusion and/or helps to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples

How to apply

Required documentation

You must submit:

Please complete the form and submit as an editable PDF file. Do not print and scan the form. Scanned applications will not be accepted.

You must submit at least one and up to 5 letters of support from:

  • Municipalities
  • Indigenous communities
  • Local destination management organizations
  • Other community partners

Note: events targeted to Indigenous peoples should demonstrate support from the host First Nation.

Your event budget

You must use the Event budget template (XSLX, 17KB) to submit your budget. Do not include the requested grant funding in your event budget.

For events hosted in the future, the budget must include:

  • Anticipated revenues, expenses and other funding sources
  • Total operating costs related to the event

For events that have already occurred, the budget must include:

  • Actual revenues, expenses and other funding sources
  • Total operating costs related to the event 
  • Any revenue shortfalls

Application guidance

Read the guidance for specific questions on the application form carefully.

Provide a detailed breakdown of how many participants (performers, artists, athletes) and attendees or spectators you believe will attend your event. If your event has already happened, please provide the actual numbers.

Describe how your event aligns with one or more of the following:

For example: if you are hosting a sport event, you could describe how the event advances the objective within the Strategic Framework for Sport in B.C.: "Sport contributes to the social and economic objectives of communities throughout British Columbia."

Describe how your event will help to rebuild community confidence in hosting visitors or public gatherings, and promote wellbeing for participants.

This may include describing:

  • Health and safety measures
  • Security and medical plans
  • Other aspects of the event that will bring people back together while protecting their health

Describe how your event will generate economic activity for the community and/or region, and draw in visitors who don’t normally live there. For example:

  • The number of local small businesses that will be engaged in the event production 
  • The number of vendors that will be invited to participate
  • Marketing efforts aimed at drawing people from outside the region, particularly in non-peak seasons

You should also describe non-economic benefits for the community. For example:

  • Contributing to the vibrancy and quality of life for residents
  • Creating low-barrier opportunities for people to experience arts and culture
  • Attracting new residents to the community

Special consideration will be given to events that are actively promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and/or reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Describe what efforts your event is making in these areas.

Special consideration will be given to events that are facing extraordinary financial hardship. Describe how and why your event is under particular financial strain and how the fund would allow your event to be successful.

Submit email application 

Applications must be submitted by 1 pm PST on October 1, 2021. You can submit applications for multiple events. Each event requires its own application package. 

Email your completed application package to COVID.Tourism.Recovery@gov.bc.ca. In the subject line, please use the following: BCFFE Fund_Event Name (insert the name of your event)

You will receive a decision on your application by November 2021. All decisions are final.


How to use your funding

You must explain how you intend to use your grant funds on your application. 

You can only use grant funds on eligible expenses for the event for which they were awarded. Unspent grant funds must be repaid.

You can use grant funds to pay for:

  • Operational costs to execute the event, including staffing and volunteer management
  • Artists' fees
  • Wages or contractor fees for event production
  • Health and safety requirements
  • Insurance related to event execution
  • Venue rental fees
  • Marketing and promotion
  • Signage and collateral
  • Program guides
  • Indigenous consultation and honorariums

You can't use grant funds to pay for:

  • Organizational budget deficits
  • Organizational seed money
  • Capital expenditures (like construction, renovation, or purchase of property and equipment)
  • Feasibility studies
  • Fundraising activities
  • Gifts
  • Hospitality costs (like food and beverages)
  • Ongoing monthly expenses (like utilities and phone service)
  • Legal fees

Reporting

After your event, you must submit a report that includes the following:

  • Total number of attendees
  • Total number of jobs supported
  • Total number of volunteers engaged
  • How you used the grant funding
  • A description of the impact on the community and/or testimonials

The ministry will provide you with a template for this report. Your report must be submitted within three months after the event.

Your agreement with the ministry

Successful applicants will receive a grant letter from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. This letter outlines:

  • Eligible uses of awarded grant funds
  • The reporting requirements for this program

Organizations awarded grant funds may also be subject to post-payment audits to ensure compliance with the fund guidelines. Ineligible use of funds may result in grant funds becoming repayable to the ministry.