After months of uncertainty, debate, and public outcry, Kicking Horse Culture will finally have some stability when a three-year contract gets drawn up for the cultural services organization.
Although it had been the preference of council to continue funding KHC through taxation, as had been done before the demise of Golden Area Initiatives, the Town has agreed to set up a three year funding deal with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to fund KHC, using money from the Economic Opportunities Fund.
The dollar amount will remain the same, allowing KHC to continue their year round cultural services, including concerts, art shows, other performances, and the annual Snow King Parade. The free Summer Kicks series is funded separately by the Town.
“I’m worried that there will be potential lost opportunities by taking that much money out of the fund every year,” said Coun. Ron Oszust, who voted against using the EOF funds along with Coun. Connie Barlow. The $120,000 a year will be taken out of the fund, and will not be available for other projects.
“I would hate to lose out on an opportunity because the money isn’t there.”
Councillors Chris Hambruch, Caleb Moss, and Mayor Christina Benty all agreed that this wasn’t their first choice, but voted in favour as it was made clear by the CSRD that they were not supportive of returning to a taxation model.
“If there is a project that we want to fund, we can always tax for it. That’s still an option, we’re just doing it in reverse,” said Moss.
The decision was made at the June 24 council meeting after a letter from the CSRD was received with this proposal.
The letter also contained the request to use the leftover GAI funds towards Kicking Horse Culture. Council will be sending a letter back asking that any proposals for the use of GAI funds be sent to the GAI Board, as Town Council has no authority over those dollars.