Town of Sidney council has agreed to help the fledgling Sidney Book Festival with a little seed money.
On Tuesday, Oct. 9, council voted to grant the organizers of the inaugural festival $8,500 from its economic development fund — but not without some debate.
“Why do they need the $8,500?” asked councillor Kenny podmore.
Coun. Steve Price replied that it’s to help organizers get the event off the ground.
“It’s a one-time grant and it’s a good use of the economic development fund. The idea is it could make enough money to ensure it continues.”
The first Sidney Book Fair is proposed for May 2 to 5, 2013, and is being organized by the Community Arts Council. Town council was quick to point out that other levels of government and local business should be asked to help as well.
Coun. Mervyn Lougher-Goodey said he’s a bit twitchy about the town being a main source of funds for the event, but likes the idea none-the-less. For that reason, he reversed his initial position and voted with the rest of the council to support the grant.
Lougher-Goodey asked staff about the economic development fund and how much was left after this grant and others. Chief administrative officer Randy Humble said it started out at $60,000 and with this Book Festival grant, is down to around $25,000.