Festivals and Major Events Canada (FAME) a national coalition representing Canada’s major cultural festivals and events sector, welcomes today’s budget announcement of $210 million over four years to support activities and events to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, which will be used to support local community events such as festivals and concerts.
FAME also welcomes the government’s commitment to promoting Canadian tourism through “additional support to the Canadian Tourism Commission to embark on a new marketing campaign in the United States.”
“FAME Canada commends the Harper government’s continued commitment to the cultural sector,” said Anita Gaffney, FAME Chair and Executive Director of the Stratford Festival. “Festivals and Major Events across this country can serve as a lightning rod for the Canada 150 celebrations by sharing important stories about our history, showcasing some amazing talent and drawing visitors.
“Festivals and major events are immensely important to the social and cultural fabric of our nation. They are also an integral component of the Canadian tourism industry. Our events attract millions of tourists. They generate hundreds of millions in spending, support a diverse workforce, and foster a tremendous amount of civic pride and community engagement in regions throughout Canada. Because of this, festivals are the perfect mechanism through which to celebrate Canada 150.”
A study commissioned by FAME in 2009 found that just 15 of some of the largest not-for-profit festivals and events in Canada contributed $650 million in GDP to their local economies, and supported over 15,600 full-time jobs nationwide. The economic impact of these 15 events was estimated at $1.1 billion per year. The analysis also estimated spending related to these events generated approximately $260 million in tax revenue for all three levels of government.
Today’s announcements will enable Canada’s marquee cultural festivals and events to prepare for the sesquicentennial in 2017. This landmark celebration will unite all Canadians and help establish our nation as a world-class cultural tourism destination for years to come.