After a year in the planning the third Grizfest Music Festival is behind us. Highlights of the weekend were meeting the 54-40 band members and speaking to members of the other bands that played during the weekend. These talented and personable artists brought enthusiasm and a diverse musical program to the weekend.
Our aim was not just to bring a diverse musical program to the residents of Tumbler Ridge and the Peace River Region. It was to bring diversification and much needed economic dollars to our business owners. The festival this year did offer what we aimed for and by the pleased responses from speaking with our business community the majority did profit from having extra people in town. One business opened on Sunday and said it was well worth their time, one restaurant said they ran out of food and had to close their doors at 1:00 pm.
Grizfest is a large undertaking with a lot of risk factors to be considered. We aren?t sure what the weather will bring us or if the artists will bring patrons into and onto the Grizfest grounds. With those decisions Grizfest comes under a lot of criticism and compliments from the community. The member?s time can just be stretched so far when decisions are made as to what activities we can offer during the festival. Without volunteers we could not offer the activities we do
We received excellent cooperation from a number of community organizations including the RCMP, Fire department, and COPS this year. During the days before and the festival time itself, we calculated over 610 volunteer hours put into the event. This does not count the hours of the regular board meetings that happen 12 months of the year.
The board applied for a $50,000 Gaming Access Grant in February. We received notice of denial in June. We sent a letter of appeal, and were rewarded with a $25,000 grant.
The festival itself ran at a deficit of $19,000. However, with the grant, the books will show a $6,000 gain.
To give you an idea of some of the costs of Grizfest the artist costs were $34,000.00, sound $9,000.00, etc with an approximate total of $79,000.00 in expenses. The revenue we received this year does not come close to covering the costs of the festival. But even with the financial loss we consider the festival a success due to the positive responses we have received.
Due to our financial loss this year we will have to carefully re-evaluate where are dollars will be spent for 2005. The board will be putting together an operating budget and an operating plan in the near future.
The festival?s major sponsor is the District of Tumbler Ridge. Without support from the municipal operation, we would not be able to put on this show. As a board we are committed to seeing the festival grow in popularity to the point where it will not have to be subsidized. To do this we require the support of our local community for volunteers and attendance.
Next time you hear the Grizfest Music Festival being criticized think instead of what this group is trying to do for their community and what you could do by getting involved. If you would like to participate phone 242-4246 for more information.
In 2005 we are hoping to have more participation by local bands from Tumbler Ridge and the Peace River Region at Grizfest. All musicians are welcome to apply to perform at Grizfest. If you are interested send a copy of your music either by CD or tape to TR Days Society, Box 98, Tumbler Ridge, BC, V0C 2W0 or phone 250-242-4246 for more information.
Thank you to all who support this community event.