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: November 29, 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.


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, happen on fewer than 21 consecutive days, or happen on fewer than 21 total 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
    • If fundraising is part of your event but is not the primary objective, your event may be eligible if all other criteria are met

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 or runs for more than 21 days in a calendar year

If we are unable to determine eligibility, we will suggest that you submit a formal application.

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
    • Your operating budget is the total amount of expenses it will take to run your event
    • In-kind donations (like volunteers' time) cannot be converted to a dollar amount and counted towards your operating budget
  • 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
    • You can still apply for this program if you have submitted applications for other grants
    • You must disclose all requested and received funding on your application
    • If you are concerned that receiving this grant will affect other funding for which you have applied, you should contact those programs directly
  • 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 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.