Fireworks move puts Canada Day funding at risk

Eagle Valley Arts Council may be sending back cheque for entertainment.

The future of Sicamous’ Canada Day celebration is in question following council’s decision to move the fireworks display to the August long weekend.

While Sicamous Mayor Darrell Trouton assured council that Canada Day is not being cancelled, the Eagle Valley Arts Council, who co-ordinates the musical acts, including the band on the barge, will be taking a huge step back. For without the fireworks, explains arts council president Carla Krens, there’s no point in providing the entertainment.

“We cannot float a band on July 1st with nothing else following it… there’s just not going to be enough people there. It’s just not worth it,” says Krens.

Krens says that up until 2004, the arts council was responsible for collecting money to host the fireworks display. That responsibility was briefly taken over by the Sicamous Lions before going to the district.

But the arts council still provides the entertainment, funded with a federal grant through Heritage Canada. Krens says this funding comes with the requirement that it be used for July 1st. She says last year an exception was made because of the flooding events the community was experiencing.

“We were allowed to spend the money in August; however, that was a rare occasion and they were extremely cooperative with us,” says Krens. “I don’t know how much money I’m getting this year because I was late, but we do get a substantial sum towards our entertainment, and that’s what we’ve been financing our entertainment with, the band on the barge or music on the lake.”

Krens says the arts council will still plan to hold its annual Canada Day arts show at the Red Barn. But, with regard to the federal funding, she says it’s too late to make arrangements for anything else.

“To change gears this quickly, it would have been sort of OK if it had been next year, but this year is out of the question,” says Krens. “So, by the time I get acknowledgement from Heritage Canada about our funding, I’ll have to send back the cheque because I cannot use it for anything else but Canada Day celebrations.”