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Keloha festival could get City help

Kelowna City Council is being asked to approve a grant of $15,000 from the Strategic Events Fund to help support the 2014 Keloha Music and Arts Festival.

The festival, entering into its third year, recorded a net loss of $100,000 in 2013.

"While well received by the community and participants, the event has not reached a point where it is financially viable," says Event Development Supervisor, Mariko Siggers.

"To attract a larger audience in 2013, Wet Ape increased expenses to book some higher profile acts. This didn't result in a significant increase in ticket sales to offset the additional expense."

The Strategic Events Fund, established by the city last summer, was designed to procure new events or develop existing ones that complement Kelowna's culture and event landscape.

Criteria for funding includes:

  • Broad appeal
  • High quality, unique events
  • Financially and environmentally sustainable
  • Elevation of community profile

Siggers says the Keloha festival "exemplifies" many of the criteria for funding.

"The focus of this festival is eclectic, indie music complimented by a tropical feeling venue with visual art and creative elements," says Siggers in her report.

"Because of the diverse programming the festival appeals to a broad age group. Children are welcome and activities are planned for them. Keloha showcases Kelowna as a tropical paradise and enhances the image of a resort destination.

Last year, Siggers says Keloha attracted 4,000 people per day - with about half of those coming from outside the Okanagan.

"Despite the financial setback Wet Ape is committed to success," Siggers added.

"A more prudent approach to planning and budget management is occurring in 2014."

To ensure sustainability, Siggers says Wet Ape has set a preliminary budget and will reduce expenses by $50,000.

Council will make a decision Monday.

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