Canada Day event faces shortfall, seek sponsors

The Langley Canada Day celebration is a hit with the locals, but now it
The Langley Canada Day celebration is a hit with the locals, but now it's in need of sponsors, volunteers.
— image credit: File photo

Despite an almost $16,000 shortfall, Langley Canada Day organizers are vowing to keep the Langley Canada Day festival going this year.

Early in this year’s planning stages, a shortfall was carried over from last year. An application to BC Gaming was made in the hopes that the shortfall could be alleviated. Due to an error in the application, the society was turned down for funding.

In addition, the overall grants for this year were lowered and community sponsors haven’t stepped up with cash. The event is highly supported by in-kind sponsorship and organizers are grateful for this, but it needs to pay fees for field entertainment, hire rides and games and pay for onstage entertainment. This requires cash.

Organizers knew about the shortfall, but it is the loss of the $10,000 gaming grant which may lead to either a shortened first day (June 30). There is a possibility the first day may be eliminated altogether.

“Last year, the festival fell short by $15,387.92 and we had hoped to make it up this year. But unless we get some significant sponsorship, it won’t happen and acts will have to be dropped.

“We will have to make cuts as and we aren’t ruling out eliminating one day. We are one of the only two-day Canada Day events in Western Canada,” said board chair Travis Strain.

Sponsors are being sought and the call is out for any amount of financial support. Organizers hope that some businesses will issue a challenge to outdo each other in donations.

Two local businesses have already stepped up and are challenging other small businesses to do the same.

“Many people don’t realize that this is how the festival is supported. Langley Canada Day is not kept alive by government money, but by support from local businesses in the form of both financial and in-kind donations,” added Strain.

“Because Canada Day falls on a weekend, it has ramped up the costs,” said Matthew Fearn, a local accountant who is the society’s volunteer treasurer.

Ordinary citizens are being called upon to help out as well.

“The public is able to assist by giving a cash donation. Our society is able to issue tax receipts due to having a Revenue Canada Charitable Number, so there is a benefit to donating,” Fearn said.

Organizers want to clear up the misconception thatsome people have. They believe the festival is run by government or paid staff.

“This is completely untrue”, said Lilianne Fuller, media director for the event. “The entire board is made up of volunteers and there is no compensation of any sort for the hours that goes into planning, organizing and executing a festival of this magnitude.”

As more than 50,000 people attended klast year, the board would like to keep the longstanding two-day format.

For more information on how you can help, contact Strain or vice-president Cheryl Tallman at 604-522-6232.

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