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Sunshine Coast's Rogue Fest extends reach with tourism funding bonanza

The restoration of provincial tourism events funding benefits local festival fave, Rogue Fest
Rogue Fest (7 of 10)
Members of the Fiddlers Wild ensemble — Rylan Peake, Kaitlin Wing, Sara Fitzpatrick and Preston Casorso — in performance at the 2022 Rogue Arts Festival.

The Sunshine Coast's annual Rogue Arts Festival is among 100 beneficiaries of a funding injection from B.C.'s provincial government through its Tourism Events Program.

“B.C.’s many sports competitions, arts festivals and events are vital to our tourism sector and a thriving economy,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport in an announcement on Nov. 10. “This program allows organizers to raise awareness about their amazing events and inspires British Columbians and people from around the world to attend.”

The Rogue Arts Festival will receive an infusion of $10,000 earmarked for marketing the annual event, now in its seventh year of operation. Rogue 2022, which took place from Aug. 19 to 21, was the first unrestricted gathering in two years at the festival's traditional ts'uk̲w'um location. Owing to COVID-19, modifications were made to the multidisciplinary arts celebration in 2020 and 2021.

In April, B.C. announced a total of $4.8 million for the Tourism Events Program, marking its return after a two-year absence because of the COVID-19  pandemic. The program supports a wide range of tourism experiences, including arts, cultural or internationally recognized sporting competitions, bolstering awareness of events, attracting additional overnight visitors and increasing tourism benefits to communities.

"New types of funding really helps us in terms of our diversification of revenue," said Arwen MacDonald, Rogue's founder and artistic director. "We're going to be looking to hire a marketing manager. So not only do we have increased funds for our actual marketing for 2023, we're also going to have somebody dedicated to that."

Funds from the Travel Events Program may be used for eligible projects that amplify an event’s provincial, national and international marketing reach, broadening impacts through activities beyond what was originally planned and budgeted by event organizers.

"We are actually just about to open up musician applications [for next year]," added MacDonald. "That will happen in December. And we have some super early-bird admission tiers that will be available just in time for the holidays. So we're gearing up. There's a lot of working behind the scenes to make sure that 2023 is our best year yet."

Since 2016, the provincial government designated more than $18 million in Tourism Events Program funding, which supported 317 events B.C.-wide.

Fans of the Rogue Arts Festival can register at roguefest.ca for updates and ticket availability for next year's event.

 

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