Pride Week proclaimed, FE&A funding cheque returned 

Timing for 2015 grants not yet confirmed

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF TW BY MIKE CRANE
  • Photo courtesy of TW by Mike Crane

Council declared Jan. 26-Feb. 2 Pride Week in the resort to celebrate the return of WinterPRIDE, Whistler's annual gay ski week, but the municipality will not hold over unused funding for the 2015 event.

Unable to secure talent with $37,000 in Festivals, Events & Animation (FE&A) funding in a tight timeline this year, event producer Dean Nelson asked for the money to be held in trust for the 2015 event. But that will not happen.

"Any requests for augmentation for 2015 will need to be considered by the FE&A Oversight Committee through their annual planning process," said an emailed statement from the municipal communications department.

"The timing of this has not been confirmed."

Typically the municipality announces its FE&A funding in February for the upcoming year — that's after WinterPRIDE, the first major festival in Whistler's yearly lineup.

Nelson had been hoping to announce the funding and plans to bring a big name talent for the mid-week comedy show at this year's event to entice return visitors in 2015.

After the council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, FE&A council rep Roger McCarthy said: "He needs to go out and get the names that he wants. We've already indicated our support for the level of entertainment that he wants to have and we'd be there again next year. But to think we'd put it in trust — it'll go back into the coffers.

"We're supportive of his program but we just can't go earmarking money for any particular event and carry it over a year."

WinterPRIDE is celebrating its 22nd year in Whistlert. The annual event brings millions in economic spinoff to the resort.

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