Grizfest 2004: Bigger and Better

The Grizfest Committee is hard at work negotiating contracts and preparing for a busy summer ahead. ?The quality of submissions for this year?s festival has far exceeded the quality of the two previous years,? says Cheryl Hayden, the Grizfest Committee Coordinator. So far, the rock headline being negotiated for Saturday night is, Canadian artists, 54-40. After more than twenty years of consistently creating some of Canada?s most recognizable music including hits such as: Ocean Pearl, Love You All, Lies to Me and Crossing a Canyon this band will be a huge draw. 54-40 has just released their tenth studio recording which is a little edgier than some of their earlier material. Another band currently in negotiations with the Grizfest committee is the Twisters. Stormin? Norman, of CFOX FM in Vancouver describes the Twisters as ?One of the finest jumpin?-swing blues bands around today. Strong, original material with good vocals and superb harmonica and guitar. Straight-up harddrivin? backbeat and that classic stand-up bass.? Other possible entertainers for Grizfest include Allen Dobb, The Ecclestons, Rose Ranger, and Rick Scott who is a children?s performer.

?Our vision is to keep Grizfest growing,? says Hayden. ?We want to bring a top-notch, diverse, cultural event to the North that will appeal to people of all ages.? And this seems to be happening. The first annual Grizfest had an attendance of 800, with a budget of $10,000.00 for entertainers. The Grizfest Committee reported an overall loss of $11,000.00 the first year. The second year Grizfest had an attendance of 2500 with a budget of $20,000.00 for the entertainers. Without the support of $10,000.00 from Council last year for a headliner, Grizfest would have incurred a loss of $1225.00, but saw a profit thanks to Council?s support.

The Grizfest Committee actively seeks sponsorship from the community and outside businesses that have an interest in our community. This year, in order to proceed, the Committee needs to have at least $40,000.00 committed to a budget for entertainers; this will ensure a successful festival. The committee has once again approached Council for financial support. The money from Council will be used to procure Saturday?s headliner.

The other thing that is needed to have a successful festival is volunteers, lots of volunteers. So, keep the August 1st long weekend open and get involved in this huge community undertaking. As Hayden says, ?The potential for economic benefits to the community can only grow as Grizfest grows.?