Salmon Arm Council denies R&B funds

Salmon Arm council has chosen not to give $10,000 in surplus money to the Roots and Blues Festival.
Coun. Chad Eliason had made the motion that the money be taken from the city’s remaining 2011 surplus of $115,558, for Roots and Blues, which this year celebrates its 20th anniversary.
“That’s the amount of money they’ve requested for the 20th anniversary,” said Eliason. “It’s not necessarily guaranteeing that it will be $50,000 next year.”
Couns. Debbie Cannon and Alan Harrison voiced opposition to the motion.
Cannon said there are other projects that need funding and the the city has given a lot to Roots and Blues.
“And I’m not undermining what they do for the community because I think it’s a great festival, and they bring lots of people into our community, but I think there’s other projects that the money needs to be spent on,” said Cannon.
Harrison made a point that voting against the $10,000 doesn’t mean council doesn’t support the festival. He noted the festival has already received $40,000 from the city this year, plus $10,000 for grounds maintenance.
“I would continue to support that great event for $40,000, but I wouldn’t support the amendment to add money after we’ve gone through our budget,” said Harrison.
Eliason said it was unfair to say the $10,000 for maintenance was allocated to one user group, noting there are a number of groups that utilize the fairgrounds.
“I think it’s important,” said Eliason of supporting Roots and Blues. “I think the publicity we get from the event and the local boost to our economy from the event… is huge, and I think our contribution is very important to it.”
Eliason, Coun. Ken Jamieson and Mayor Nancy Cooper were in favour, while Cannon, Harrison, Couns. Marg Kentel and Denise Reimer were opposed.

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