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Carstairs Heritage Festival asks town for funding

Organizers looking to expand festival

CARSTAIRS - Pam Montgomery and Sharon Lampitt from the Carstairs Heritage Festival committee appeared as a delegation in front of Carstairs town council recently to give an update.

The two updated council and administration on how plans are going for the upcoming festival, which is set for May 30.

"They're expanding the festival this year," said CAO Carl McDonnell. "They're trying to get more dancers, more competitions, a couple more bands. So they're busy working on that. It was a good update. Lots of information."

The committee is asking for funding in the amount of $20,600 to buffer costs of the festival, which would be the second one.

The inaugural festival took place last year at Carstairs Memorial Park and featured Highland games demonstrations, pipe bands, a parade and other Scottish influenced events.

The festival is also requesting assistance from the town for planning and kids' zone setup (FCSS), installing and removing road barricades (operations), protective services, fire department, facility rental - Memorial Park, and clerical and technical help.

McDonnell said the committee is still finalizing its budget.

"They're looking for $20,600 to backstop the event," he said. "They've applied for grants and they're looking for answers but for some of them they won't get answers until after the festival.

“They don't want to run a deficit so they're asking council to backstop the money with the intent that they wouldn't need all those dollars."

McDonnell said council discussed whether it would make more sense to sponsor a portion of an event as opposed to having a blank cheque for the event.

"If they were to apply for say $5,000 for the dance competition or something along those lines council would be more apt to look at it," he said.

"That's something council has asked us as administration to look into: what do we put toward other events in town? How do we sponsor those? So make it more of a sponsorship than a safeguard."