Money proposed for Expo 2017 should still be used to promote the city’s name across the country, said Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel.

A total of $900,000 was proposed in the 2011 budget for the world’s fair, but with the lack of support from the federal government, dreams of being its host have been snuffed out.

Mandel specifically focused on the arts scene during a break from council budget deliberations yesterday.

“It’s one of those things I think that really makes the city a special place,” he said. “And with the loss of the Expo, we’re going to have to make more investments in our arts community to allow them to be more successful, and that will help pick up the slack of losing an event.”

Furthering the arts wasn’t the only topic discussed yesterday, though.

Council talked about contributing up to $50,000 to local comedians who would like to bring a new festival on stream next fall.

Mandel wouldn’t reveal the comedians in question but did say they were well known and well respected in the Edmonton region.