Kicking Horse Culture has their funding secure for the next year, but both KHC and the Town of Golden would like to see a more long-term solution.
At the meeting on March 4, council passed a resolution to renew the three-year agreement through taxation, provided that the Columbia Shuswap Regional District will fund it jointly with the Town.
“They have exceeded the cost benefit analysis, and have overdelivered on providing arts and culture in our community,” said Mayor Christina Benty, who brought the resolution forward.
In the past, the Town and the CSRD funded KHC 50/50 through Golden Area Initiatives, which is no more. To keep the organization operating, council voted to fund KHC through the Economic Opportunities Fund (none of which comes from Golden tax payers), however in the future the Town would like to return to their 50/50 split on the $120,000 with the CSRD.
Not all of council agreed with the proposal. Coun. Keith Hern voted against the resolution stating he would like to see some more “behind the scenes” discussion with both KHC and the CSRD to find a new funding model.
Hern also noted that KHC has substantial reserve funds (which Hern quoted at $115,000). Hern wondered if the organization is close to supporting itself, especially if they raise their membership fees and ticket prices.
“I think Kicking Horse Culture is valuable to this community, and I would like to see it continue,” said Hern.
The Town will be drafting a letter to the CSRD, requesting they cost-share to fund KHC, and the CSRD Board (which includes Area A director Gary Habart) will decide.
The Town of Golden would like to see greater cost sharing with the CSRD on several programs and/or facilities in the community. There was no discussion as to what the Town will do regarding the funding of KHC if the CSRD declines the request.