10/16/2012 12:39:00 PM
I received an email this morning from a gentleman who wrote a single line to me.
"I would like it explained to me how a Comedy Festival that plays to full houses, is sponsored by a large bank, promoted by the busiest radio station in Edmonton still needs provincial government assistance."
In case you've wondered the same thing here is my answer.
"The simple explanation is this. To create and grow a festival the size of ours takes a partnership between public and private interests. Our title sponsor, our other sponsors, and the City of Edmonton and The Province of Alberta all cooperate and contribute to assist us and many other arts related ventures get established and flourish. As generous as ATB Financial is to us and other Alberta based undertakings both for and not for profit, no one partner including ATB Financial underwrites the entire festival. Both The Province and The City have established funds to assist worthy applicants to establish major arts events such as ours. Neither The City nor The Province continues to provide funding after the 2nd year. This allows festivals like ours to have a chance to become financially stable enough to continue after the 2nd year.
In our case we are a not for profit undertaking which also requires us to provide outreach programs to the city, fundraising opportunities for charities and work for local artists. We do all of that and will continue to do all of that when public funding is no longer available to us next year. Having additional funding also allows us to keep our ticket prices down so that as many Albertans as possible can enjoy the festival. To see 6 internationally touring comedians for $25 is pretty darn good. As for the promotion on CHED and all other media outlets. We pay for that. Our advertising bill this year will be in excess of $100,000.
I hope you will take the time to buy a ticket and see a show. We’d love to have you there."
Sometimes I just want to give up. My life would be so much simpler and I wouldn't have to explain myself for doing something great for our city.