Blues and Jazz Festival, White Rock Pride Day Gets Council Nod – North Delta Reporter

Two new special events can be expected at White Rock this year – COVID-19 and Variant Allowing.

At the Monday evening (February 7) meeting, board members unanimously gave the green light to a White Rock Blues and Jazz Festival (scheduled for Friday June 10 to Sunday June 12) and a White Rock Pride Day (scheduled for July 23) .

The Blues and Jazz Festival – which will take place in various locations around the city – will be organized by the White Rock BIA.

White Rock Pride Day – which will be a daytime street festival with performances and vendors in the Five Corners neighborhood – will be hosted by the White Rock Pride Society.

Both are classified as “Category C” special events by the city, in that they seek the assistance and guidance of city personnel in operations, logistics and security planning and may use the city ​​facilities, property and equipment, without asking for a cash contribution.

Director of Recreation and Culture Eric Stepura said the staff recommended both after reviewing the applications and “the capabilities and capacity of the organizers to deliver these events with minimal financial support from the city.”

At the same time, the board followed staff recommendations by rejecting two “Category B” events that would have required the city to act as a co-producer and provide significant contributions to their budgets.

The White Rock Lights Society — which produced a waterfront winter lighting event in 2019 and 2020 — was asking the city for $50,000 to host an expanded event from Nov. 19 to Feb. 19, 2023.

But, as Stepura and executive director Guillermo Ferrero pointed out, the city — which took the event out of the company’s hands in 2021 to create the Bright Walk in White Rock — is already looking forward to and has budgeted for, a another event of this kind for next winter.

“In 2021, due to financial capacity issues and some outstanding issues between (the company) and the city, the council directed the city to come up with a light show and it ran, this year, with great success,” said Stepura.

“Funding for this ‘Category A’ city-produced event has been identified in the city’s parks operating budget.”

The council also rejected a proposal from the White Rock Events Society (former organizers of the White Rock Sea Festival, taken over by the city about five years ago) seeking a $20,000 city contribution for a White Rock Carving Competition. Rock Promenade which would take place from May 2022 to April 2023.

Stepura, said that since funds have not been set aside for the event, it would require either a tax increase or a reallocation of funds from the 2022 contingency operating budget.

The company had also asked to install 10 concrete slabs in the grassed area on the north side of the parkway between the White Rock Museum and Archives and Bayview Park, Stepura said, which would require relocating pre-existing underground utilities. (irrigation and electricity). and create concerns about the root systems of trees in this area.

Also of concern is the group’s proposed artwork selection process, he said, which would be contrary to the city’s public art and placemaking policy.

According to the policy, Stepura said, public art on city property “must follow a very specific artist and artwork selection process to ensure that projects are selected through a informed, open and fair public art competition…and to prevent controversial or inappropriate works of art from being selected and installed along the waterfront.

The two con. Scott Kristjanson and the advisor. Christopher Trevelyan suggested, however, that they might be willing to run a scaled-down version of the sculpting competition, provided the company addresses those concerns.

“I recognize the concerns you have with the selection of artwork and the cost,” Kristjanson said. “But at the same time, we want to be a city that supports the arts and hopefully we can find some sort of compromise where … if we allowed them to select the art, but we had a veto if there had anything. inappropriate, it would help us to diversify our artistic selection and help us to have other points of view. I think that would be a very exciting proposition.

“I think it’s a good idea – I like the principle of it,” Trevelyan said. “Maybe they could come back without the concrete blocks and with less funding from the city.”

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City of White RockEntertainment

Willie J. Johnson