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Kelowna City Band loses funding

by - Story: 51246

The Kelowna City Band lost its annual grant with only days notice. The Direct Access grant paid from gaming funds represented about half of the band’s annual budget - $8,000.

As a result, the band and its concert programs face an uncertain future.

The first casualty is an annual Christmas benefit concert in support of local charities. Due to the loss of funding, the band has cancelled its December 16 Christmas concert at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

President of the Kelowna City Band Society, Tim Watson says it would have been the third annual free Christmas Concert the band has performed.

"In the past, we invited audiences to make a donation with representatives of the Kelowna Community Food Bank and the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal to be on hand to accept donations. We regret that we won’t be able to present a free Christmas concert to the public and assist a deserving community group this year,” says Watson.

He says he understands the government’s need to reduce expenses in these difficult fiscal times.

“We were certainly prepared for a reduction in the amount of the Direct Access grant but not for the grant to be completely wiped out.”

“We hope to return to the Mary Irwin Theatre at the Rotary Centre in the future as it is a perfect venue for our concert presentations. We won’t be making a future commitment until our funding and finances have stabilized. We are determined to ensure the viability of the Kelowna City Band for years to come.”

The band also raises funds through a City of Kelowna grant, membership dues and donations, and has been proactive in attempting to lower expenses and raise funds to make up for the budget shortfall.

A new fundraising initiative, “Club 100”, seeks annual $100 donations from individuals and companies willing to support the operations of the band.

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