Calling all sport, festival and destination-level events and meetings that will drive visitation, overnight stays, and investment in the Comox Valley.
The Comox Valley Economic Development and Tourism has moneys available for such events, via the Sport and Event Expansion Fund.
Funding is available thanks to the Comox Valley’s additional two per cent hotel room tax (AHRT). The Destination Marketing Advisory Committee, which developed a tactical plan to market the area with the funds from the AHRT tax, developed this grant program to assist with attracting new and further develop existing events to the Valley. Successful applicants will receive what is often needed most to be successful – cold, hard cash. Phase two funds will be disbursed to Comox Valley events as chosen by a DMAC sub-committee.
“Phase one of the Sport & Event Expansion Fund assisted three events and festivals and helped build Comox Valley’s profile for having the capacity to draw people to our region, organize successful tournaments, and launch new festivals,” says Bill Anglin, chair of the Destination Marketing Advisory Committee. “The funds are available to a very broad spectrum of events – dance competitions, car shows, bridge competitions or a naturalists gathering. The goal is to increase room nights for the hotels during the shoulder season, however many hotels have available rooms for groups on long weekends, such as the Canada Day long weekend.”
The final deadline for 2014 applications is Aug. 31.
Rules and regs
Criteria that each application will be ranked against for Phase two include:
• How will the event or festival drive overnight visitation to the Comox Valley now and in the future?
• How many room nights will the event generate?
• How much experience does the applicant have in event hosting and marketing?
• Does this event or festival support many sectors of the tourism industry, and if so which ones?
Submitted applications will be reviewed by the committee and selected based on meeting the criteria outlined above. After this date, applications will be accepted and evaluated as funds remain available. Interested parties may apply by visiting www.discovercomoxvalley.com/resources.
Eligible expenses that may be supported by the fund include online external marketing and print advertising; capital funding for new tourism infrastructure projects; bid fees for new events and conferences; and site inspections and travel costs for new events and conferences, prior to the event being awarded.
Two local events that were supported in the first round of 2014 funding included:
• Hosting of the Vancouver Island National BMX Race (July 18-20, 2014), supported by Coal Hills BMX.
• Expansion of the Comox Valley Half Marathon (March 21-22, 2015), presented by Comox Valley Road Runners.
In 2013, events that benefitted from the first phase of the Sport and Event Expansion Fund included:
• Mini World Cup Event presented by the Comox Valley United Soccer Club.
• BC Seniors Curling Event, held by the Comox Valley Curling Club
• PGA Tour Canada Spring Qualifying School at Crown Isle Resort.
“We look forward to supporting the growth of existing events and festivals and investing in new destination level events, helping to draw visitors to the Comox Valley, and increasing the economic impact on the region,” says Anglin.
For more information on the fund and a copy of the application form, visit www.discovercomoxvalley.com/resources.