The British Columbia government is helping build communities and local economies through sport with a renewed investment of $500,000 to support the hosting of sporting events throughout the province, announced Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. “Being from a small town, I know how important sporting events can be, both to the social and the economic health of a community. Hosting BC provides a great way for communities to access the cash they need to hold major sporting events in their areas. As a bonus, they leave a lasting legacy of trained volunteers, new infrastructure, and community enthusiasm,” says Bennett.
Hosting BC grants, administered by viaSport, typically range from $3,000 to $15,000, depending on the level of competition (e.g., provincial, regional, national, international). Scott Ackles, Chief Executive Officer for viaSport says, “The Hosting BC program is vitally important to provincial sport organizations, and ultimately, to athletes across the province. We are delighted to partner with the BC government to deliver this critical program that makes it possible for our athletes to develop their skills while our communities realize the economic benefits that come with sport hosting.”
The funding will go to the Hosting BC grant program, which will continue to build upon BC’s reputation as a first-class event-hosting destination. Applications are now being accepted for the first round of grants. The deadline for application is Oct. 15, 2012. A second application intake will take place early 2013. Applications for funding are reviewed by the Hosting BC Review Committee, comprised of leaders in the sport and tourism sectors.
Since 2004, close to $3.7 million in Hosting BC funding has been awarded to support over 469 events in more than 45 communities throughout the province. In 2011–12, more than 100 events were funded in more than 40 communities.
Hosting BC funding is targeted at provincial, national and select international events that will contribute to the economic, social and sporting health of a community.