Golden’s cultural vibrancy is one of the community’s greatest assets – one worth protecting, and one worth paying for.
No one person or one organization can be credited with the overabundance of cultural entertainment around town.
Groups, businesses, and individual artists are continually working hard to bring great acts to town and host wonderful events in Golden.
Kicking Horse Culture (KHC) is certainly one of the largest contributors, and a lot of people will have breathed a sigh of relief this week when KHC’s funding was secured for one more year.
(The group’s funding used to flow through Golden Area Initiatives, who’s contract is expiring at the end of 2013).
Not only has the funding been secured, it has been removed from the local taxpayers’ shoulders.
The money, for 2014 at least, will come entirely from the Economic Opportunities Fund. The fund comes from BC Hydro’s annual payment in lieu of taxes.
It sounds like quite a victory, but it is an incomplete one. This is a temporary solution, albeit a great one, but it will have to be redetermined next year.
There will be a municipal election in 2014, so there may be different faces sitting around the table next year when this topic comes up again.
My only hope is that Kicking Horse Culture, which has hosted 170 concerts since 2004, as well as countless other events, is still valued. I hope it is still deemed worthy of supporting even if it comes at a cost.
It’s hard to measure the value of this kind of service, especially when not everyone in the community participates in these events.
But in a community with a dwindling tax base (just like many other small communities in British Columbia), every person and/or family you keep in Golden is valuable — as is every visitor who comes back or stays one extra day to be part of a Golden event.
And I can say for certain that Golden’s cultural vibrancy is one of the things that attracts and keeps people in this community. In a tough economy, quality of life becomes that much more important, and Golden has an excellent quality of life.