Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo is asking the province to clarify whether the Armstrong IPE will be allowed to apply for COVID-19 relief funds through the Major Anchor Attractions program, announced Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Kyllo said the program’s rules appear to exclude the widely popular event because it’s not a year-round operation. (B.C. Legislative Assembly)

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo is asking the province to clarify whether the Armstrong IPE will be allowed to apply for COVID-19 relief funds through the Major Anchor Attractions program, announced Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Kyllo said the program’s rules appear to exclude the widely popular event because it’s not a year-round operation. (B.C. Legislative Assembly)

Does Armstrong’s biggest festival qualify for COVID-19 grant, or not?: Shuswap MLA

Greg Kyllo wants the province to clarify whether the IPE is eligible for Major Attractions funding

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo is wondering whether Armstrong’s Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE) will be allowed to apply for support through the province’s latest COVID-19 relief stream for tourist attractions.

Premier John Horgan and Tourism Minister Melanie Mark announced funding for B.C. events through the Major Anchor Attractions Program Tuesday, May 18.

But as the BC Liberal deputy whip argued in question period, the eligibility rules around the funding program appear to exclude the IPE — a summer staple in the community for more than 120 years.

“The rules say that you have to be operating year-round, and specifically states that events like the IPE are not even allowed to apply,” Kyllo said. “And we haven’t heard a word from the MLA in Vernon-Monashee about helping this very important festival.”

The IPE pulled the plug on what would have been its 121st annual fair in May 2020, and this past March the fair was again pushed back to 2022 due to ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic.

Kyllo pointed out the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) in Vancouver, which operates year-round, is allowed to apply for the grant, and asked the government to give clarification on the IPE’s status.

“Can the Premier tell the people of the North Okanagan if the IPE can apply or not.”

In response, Minister Mark didn’t provide Kyllo with a yes-or-no answer but said the festival should still apply for funding through the program.

“Decisions have not been made yet,” she said, regarding grant recipients. “I encourage the member to support the organization to apply.”

Asked for comment, Vernon-Monashee MLA Harwinder Sandhu said the funds are meant to support permanent attractions.

She said her office hasn’t received a request for assistance from the IPE, “though we are more than happy to assist them in finding the supports they need.”

The Major Anchor Attractions Program will provide a one-time emergency grant to help keep attractions running at minimal levels until COVID-19 restrictions on travel and indoor gatherings are eased.

The program has three funding streams: one for major attractions in urban areas, another for those in rural areas and a separate stream for tour bus companies.

Under the program’s rules, seasonal or temporary attractions like the IPE “may be eligible” if they qualify for one of the three streams. Both the rural and urban streams require that the attraction “typically operates year-round.”

‘Turnstile’ attractions in rural communities like Armstrong can receive up to $500,000 in relief.

READ MORE: COVID-19 postpones Armstrong IPE for 2nd year

READ MORE: Province backs Armstrong MetalFest


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Parliament

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Some of the priorities that the GDCF is hoping to touch on in their surveys that will inform community priorities. (GDCF photo)
Golden Community Foundation encouraging residents to participate in survey

It’s a new project to inform community priorities in the coming year

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop live horse export

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

(Dave Ogilvie photo)
One injured after being pinned by fallen forklift near Peachland

West Kelowna emergency crews responded to reports of a person stuck under a forklift

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

This goose family went for a leisurely stroll down Vernon’s Main Street Saturday, April 25. (Dave Deshane photo)
Controversial Vernon goose cull won’t fly this year

Necessary permit procedures held up at a federal level

Mounties cover a burgundy truck with a tent at Buckerfields in West Kelowna on Monday, June 14. The RCMP is investigating after a woman’s body was found inside the truck. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
West Kelowna RCMP investigating suspicious death after body found in truck

Police responded to a truck parked out front of a Main Street business where the body was found

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Most Read