Festival faces cash shortfall - Metro US

Festival faces cash shortfall

A popular inner-city festival’s 25th annual event is on life support, looking to cover a $6,320 shortfall.

The Aug. 9 Marda Gras Street Festival has raised $13,680 of its needed $20,000 and has extended the deadline for sponsors to get involved until the end of today.

“It’s been a really difficult economic year for sponsors,” said Dale O’Quinn, resident and business owner in Marda Loop. “The sponsorship has just fallen away.”

The city passed a bylaw to give festivals relief early last week by reducing fees by 25 per cent, but the fate of Marda Gras is still unknown.

O’Quinn said the savings will help but that there are still huge costs involved in organizing festivals, including stages, road closures and security.

Ald. Ric McIver said this has been a difficult year for festivals.

“That’s all the more reason why we need to be festival-friendly because citizens need to have fun,” McIver said.

He added that a permanent solution for festival fees will be looked at in the fall so similar funding barriers can be overcome in the future.

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