Festival and Events Support
The following represents an outline of the Festival and Events Support Policy, policy number 116.
Revision Date: March 17, 2022
Effective Date: March 29, 2022
Since amalgamation, the City of Miramichi has received many requests for funding for events and festivals. The City of Miramichi has contributed both monetary and in-kind contributions and existing and new festivals over the years. The purpose of the Festival and Event Support Policy is to provide staff with direction to evaluate and recommend financial contributions to support various types of festivals and events.
This policy is intended to provide information to event organizers about the City of Miramichi’s Financial Festival and Events Support Program. It also outlines which events are eligible for support from the City of Miramichi and how event organizers can apply.
In this policy:
“CITY” means the municipality of the City of Miramichi;
“COUNCIL” means the duly elected Council of the City of Miramichi.
“EVENT” means an annual or infrequent gathering within the City of Miramichi that is organized by a nonprofit organization that offers programming that is largely free, is inclusive, open and accessible to the public to increase quality of life.
“FESTIVAL” means an annual or infrequent gathering that presents a multifaceted program within a defined period of time (one day to one week in duration), using a budget that is separate from the regular operating budget of the hosting non-profit organization. Festivals must demonstrate broad community participation and an established audience, or a significant potential audience. Festival programs should offer participants a unique experience not duplicated by other on-going organizations and their declared activities.
“FINAL REPORT” means a report required to be submitted to the City of Miramichi following the conclusion of the event that includes final claim, financial statements, summaries, and statistics.
“SEED GRANTS” means financial support from the City to support the development of a new festival or event. The City, may advance up to 50% of an approved festival and event financial contribution upon receipt of a request from the host organization and a list of anticipated expenses necessary to justify the advance request.
“SIGNATURE EVENT” means, in addition to a festival or special event as defined in this policy, an event that can be held annually and demonstrably is able to generate substantial direct impacts on the Miramichi economy; attract a large contingent (typically a large contingent implies that the nature, expected attendee level, duration or location challenges the normal response capacity of local first responders requiring special planning by one or more agencies to mitigate potential impacts on public health and safety) of out-of-town visitors and locals to the event; and includes the opportunity to leverage from the advanced media elements that support the potential to grow the event and promote Miramichi as a choice destination.
Strategic Plan Alignment
Vision Statement: The City of Miramichi will be a healthy, progressive, diverse and economically vibrant community that invests in its future in a financially sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.
Missing Statement: We are committed to excellence and openness in local government by ensuring accessible and responsive representation, providing innovative and efficient services in support of our community’s vision. We are committed to creating conditions for growth and opportunity and to celebrate our past while keeping our focus on an inclusive and prosperous future for all.
Strategic Pillar – Growing Miramichi: Miramichi is open for business. As the economic hub of our region, we are committed to supporting business growth, business investment and workforce attraction. We are a four-season destination where visitors and residents enjoy our parks, trails and distinctive amenities – especially our amazing river. We are the city of festivals, the bass fishing capitol of Atlantic Canada and the centre for outdoor adventure in the Maritimes.
Types of Grants
- Seed grants are available to festivals and events (applying for the first time) for a maximum period of three (3) years. During this period, a maximum of 80% of the event’s proposed revenue stream may come from the City. When determining eligibility for grant assistance, consideration will also be given to the following criteria:
- Providing detailed line-item budgets
- After the first of funding, providing financial statements from the previous year’s event
- Demonstrating movement towards the 50% funding threshold
- Demonstrating public support for their programming through attendance (festival and events survey)
- Improving their business models based on experience
- Demonstrating movement towards formal organizational and governance models
- Providing profile to the City in marketing and on-site materials
- Receiving input from City staff to ensure the long-term viability of the festival/event and the ability to coordinate the use of City resources
- Providing profile to the City in the form of a sponsorship opportunity
- Development grants are available to festivals and events in the development phase (years 4-6). When determining eligibility for grant assistance, consideration will also be given to the following criteria:
- Ability to articulate a viable business model and development plan
- Ability to provide detailed line-item event budgets for the next year’s event
- Ability to provide financial statements on the previous year’s event
- That City funding is being significantly leveraged. City funding will account for less than 50% of total projected annual revenues
- That organizational and governance structures have been developed
- That significant public support has been achieved in terms of attendance and can demonstrate growth
- Capacity to develop a significant economic impact in the community or become an iconic civic, cultural, or sporting event
- A significant level of quality programming has been achieved
- A significant level of public profile has been received through media coverage
- During this period, in order to continue funding, it is envisioned that festivals and events are:
- Demonstrating movement towards the 30% funding threshold
- Demonstrating the ability to articulate financial projections
- Showing continued increases in public support through attendance
- Introducing new, high-quality programming and improving existing programming
- Receiving significant, generally positive media coverage
- Marketing for the tourism market
- Providing profile to the City in the form of a sponsorship opportunity
Signature Festival Grants
- Signature Festival grants are intended to provide ongoing support to the very few major iconic festivals and events that have achieved recognized excellence in programming and generate a significant major economic impact in the community. When determining eligibility for grant assistance, consideration will be given to the following criteria:
- Demonstrate a viable, long-term business model with diverse revenue streams, including financial support from the private sector
- Provide financial statements that show City funding at less than 30% of the total event budget
- Demonstrate extensive public support in terms of attendance
- A significant level of public profile has been received through media coverage, including media outside of the city
- Demonstrate a uniqueness and excellence in terms of programming
- Demonstrate a marketing plan that aims at bringing in patrons from outside the Greater Miramichi area
- Demonstrate their value in terms of cultural and sports tourism and receiving profile in both City and Provincial tourism marketing vehicles. Demonstrating economic impact in terms of hotels, restaurants, etc., is also seen as an asset
- If not generating tourism revenues, must demonstrate the capacity to become a major iconic civic event
- Demonstrate programs aimed at environmental sustainability
- Conduct ongoing consultations with City staff to ensure the long-term viability of the festival/event and the ability to coordinate the use of City resources effectively
- Provide profile to the City in the form of a sponsorship opportunity
- Significant economic impact which show the difference between the input into the event and what the output was. For example, the number of visitors, the number of registered night stays at local hotels compared to the cost of event
Events eligible for City of Miramichi financial support must meet the following criteria:
- The event is operated by or for a non-profit organization
- The event offers free programming in a large proportion
- The event is inclusive, accessible and available to the community at large.
- The event occurs mostly in Miramichi (i.e., events with extensive programming)
- The event has a specific theme or purpose.
- The event has a predetermined opening and closing time.
- The event contributes to enhancing the quality of life in Miramichi.
- Sporting events such as multi-team tournaments.
Festivals eligible for City of Miramichi financial support must meet the following criteria:
- The festival is operated by or for a non-profit organization
- The festival offers paid programming in a large proportion
- The festival is inclusive, accessible and available to the community at large
- The festival occurs mostly in Miramichi (i.e., festivals with extensive programming)
- The festival has a specific theme or purpose
- The festival has a predetermined opening and closing time.
Upon evaluation of financial request and pending the availability of resources, agreements are developed with organizers based on each festival or event’s specific needs and requirements. These agreements outline both the City of Miramichi’s and the organizer’s roles and responsibilities for the event, as agreed upon by both parties.
The funding request application will be reviewed by the Development of Economic Development and Tourism. All applications will be reviewed for completeness, accuracy and compliance with the policy. All applications not complying with the policy will be deemed to be incomplete and will not be processed.
In the event that grant funds provided by the municipality are not used for the project or programs described in the application, or if there are misrepresentations in the application, the full amount of any such financial assistance may be payable forthwith to the municipality.
Any in-kind service requests should be submitted with the required documents of the festival and events support program application. This includes but is not limited to the following types of requests:
- Use of city property
- Use of city equipment
- Street closure requests
- Advertising support
NOTE: Festival and Event Insurance Requirement
Organizers must supply a general liability insurance policy for their event should it take place on City property. The general liability insurance policy must designate the City of Miramichi as “Additional Insured” and holding the City harmless from all actions, causes of action, interests, claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses, and loss.
The value of the event insurance policy shall be in the amount of not less than three (3) million dollars.
Organizations must provide a certificate of insurance containing these elements to the Department in order for the City of Miramichi to grant permission to hold the event.
The completed application form, together with supporting documentation, must be delivered to:
Department of Economic Development and Tourism
141 Henry Street,
- Applications for event support must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the event to allow for processing
- For-profit events and fundraisers do not qualify for funding
- Even if an organization and an event application are determined to be eligible, event funding is not guaranteed. If an application is successful, the funding allocated to an event may be less than the amount requested.
Application Assessment Criteria
Applications may be eligible for funding depending on the availability of funding, and each application shall be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- The event is held within City limits;
- Demonstration of registered not-for-profit being in good standing;
- Demonstration of community support relative to the event as measured by:
- The number of volunteers contributing to the event;
- A secured commitment from other funding sources
- Involvement from other community partners and/or partnership development potential;
- The number of audience participants anticipation
- The uniqueness of the experience – that is, not duplicated by any other organizations and their on-going published activities
- Broad community outreach – the event will reach out to a broad spectrum of the community. Consideration will also be given to accessibility and free events versus ticketed events and ticket prices
- Clear, measurable objectives and benefits
- Evidence of management and fiscal responsibility (proven track record in program delivery)
- Consideration of environmental practices
- Inclusion of a copy of the host non-for-profits resolution detailing the organization’s full responsibility for the event revenue generation
Administration of the Festival and Events Support Policy will be completed by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism staff. Staff will use the policy to assist organizers to complete their applications for funding. Staff will be authorized to issue letters of offer to organizers for financial contributions up to $10,000.00 per event. Any recommended letters of offer exceeding this amount will be presented to Council for consideration.
A final report and financial statement must be submitted by December 1st of the year that the festival or event took place. The final report is an important part of the eligibility determination for future grant applications and is required.
Final reports shall include the following information:
- Project Summary
- Goals achieved and factors influencing outcomes;
- Major variances in the intent contained in the original application.
- Attendance figures;
- Estimation of Demographics and origins of patrons;
- Number of volunteers
- Final accounting of event revenues and expenses;
- How were the City’s funds expended?
- Media Exposure
- Representative samples of photos from event if available;
- Media coverage (print, radio, TV).