Thrive Festival gets backing from city hall
Despite initial concerns by a couple of its members, Kamloops city council is backing the proponents of the Thrive Festival.
A service agreement with BC Living Arts Society, which is planning the festival for later this year, requires it to provide a progress report, sponsorship update, operational plans, a revised budget and registration information by April 1.
A final report with complete financial accounting, along with other data — including a report on sustainability — is required by Sept. 30.
A report must also be provided that relates to the society’s activities that support the city’s cultural strategic plan.
At least one major public event must be part of the festival.
In exchange, organizers will receive a one-time grant of $75,000.
The society has to allocate surplus revenue for any additional Thrive festivals, although two per cent of the revenue from registrations must return to the city to support new initiatives that are part of the cultural strategic plan.
If another festival is not planned, any surplus revenue must be returned to the city.
When society artistic director Alan Corbishley first approached the city for financial support, Coun. Marg Spina voted against the request.
Spina said she felt Corbishley was asking for “a lot of money for a two-day festival.”
Spina said when she was in charge of the annual Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music program, which offered programs in much the same way the Thrive Festival plans to do, “it didn’t get a penny from the city.”
Coun. Tina Lange also voted against the request.
Lange said she also felt it was a lot of money and that the initial presentation by Corbishley to council was vague.
Corbishley describes the festival, planned for early summer using venues at Thompson Rivers University, as “a confluence for mind, body and soul development” in creative ways not linked to the traditional view of the music, art, dance or drama.
The festival would provide sessions in other areas that would lend themselves to creativity, including culinary and literary arts, wellness, sports and continuing education.
Many of the events will be free, Corbishley said, with others in the $20 range for a day pass.
“Our goal is to make the event as accessible to all who is interested at as little cost to the consumer as possible, while maintaining a fiscally responsible event that can build sustainable growth and economic impact on the community,” he said.
“If we can build a large free portion of the festival in the future, we will do it, as long as the financial support is in place from sponsors and supporters. To do that, we need to show them the event first.”
The festival is geared to the 40-and-older market and Lee Morris, executive director of Tourism Kamloops, said she believes it can be promoted successfully through her agency throughout the Interior, Northern B.C. and into the Okanagan region.
Morris said the festival is the kind of event that would be featured on the agency’s website and highlighted in newsletters and e-blasts to a potential tourist market.
Corbishley has several partners, including TRU, the Kamloops Art Gallery, The Kamloops Photo Arts Club and Kamloops Film Society, along with the city’s master gardeners and the Friends of the Garden at TRU.
The festival is budgeted to see revenue of $409,000 — including the city’s contribution — and expenses of $330,670.
The projected surplus is $78,330, which Corbishley said would be used to ensure sustainability of the festival.