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Silver City Days - City doles out cash for silver anniversary

The 50th anniversary splash for the city’s largest festival may not be as large as it could have been, says the president of the society tasked with pulling it off.

Ian McLeod said the Trail Festival Society (TFS) received less than the requested amount for the silver anniversary in the Silver City for Silver City Days.

The city will be giving the committee $60,000, which is $12,000 short of the group’s request, said McLeod, and that means the festival’s activities will be cut back.

“Right now, with the funding we are being told about, we plan on doing the best we can for the community, and we plan on giving the best we can for the dollars we have,” he said.

But the amount approved by council Monday night is nearly double what the society received last year, said councillor Sean Mackinlay, the city’s liaison on the board.

“As we’ve seen in previous years, they have always asked for more than we have given them. This isn’t anything out of context for them,” he said.

All in-kind services the festival had previously requested will also be given again, Mackinlay noted, including street closures and the use of city facilities, adding in around $20,000 to the amount already being given.

The society will be given around $15,000 in “seed money” to get the planning nailed down for the May festival, and trim the actual plan for the anniversary show, said McLeod.

Although he alluded to some problems with the current working relationship with the city, McLeod was confident the society would be able to compensate for the lower amount and still stage a memorable show.

Mackinlay said the society did provide more information on what they required funding for this year.

“And we hope for more as these events come through,” he said.

“We need to see contracts in place” to see that people are coming to do what they are signed to do.

Last year Trail city council restored the annual festival’s allotment of municipal money, approving a $35,000 operating budget including money for the fireworks and the parade, as well as an extra $1,000 for “cost overruns.” The budget had originally been cut by one third to $22,500.

The reduction forced the society, which organizes the fair, to trim the fireworks display and the parade off the event’s list in order to work within the reduced budget.

In late April in a special meeting in council chambers, the elected officials agreed to pay up to $10,000 for the fireworks display, keeping the nearly 50-year-old tradition alive, after reviewing documentation pertaining to the expenditures.

McLeod said the society will have $10,000 from the city for the same fireworks show as last year, although they had requested around $15,000 for a special 50th anniversary show.

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