Squamish Valley Music Festival brings big bucks to the area 

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The Squamish Valley Music Festival brought $9.9 million to the local economy this year, according to a new report released by the Conference Board of Canada this week.

The report, called the "Festival and Events Assessment Model" concluded that the festival created a total of $18.7 million in economic activity in B.C. Since the festival's launch in 2010, it's brought an estimated $16 million to the area.

"The benefits to Squamish from this event are clear and range from direct spending that puts money in the pockets of local businesses to increased awareness of Squamish resulting from the fact that 90 per cent of festival-goers come here from outside our community," says district of Squamish mayor Rob Kirkham, in a release. "We look forward to working with our partners Brand.Live and Live Nation Canada through 2014 and beyond to continue to grow this event to maximize the positive benefits for all."

The report also revealed that 89.5 per cent of the festival attendees travelled from outside of Squamish while 73.2 per cent stayed overnight for a total of 2.7 nights. Around $1.8 million was spent at restaurants and bars with another $1.5 million going to food and liquor stores and $1 million to retail shopping.

The festival has announced that it's planning to double in size to 34,000 people next year.

It has also been nominated for "Best Overseas Festival" at this year's UK Festival Awards. The contest is opening to the public to vote until Nov. 1 at www.festivalawards.com/vote. – Alyssa Noel

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