The Town of Ponoka, who has typically leased the main stampede grounds to the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association, is transferring the land to the association. (Photo by Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)

The Town of Ponoka, who has typically leased the main stampede grounds to the Ponoka Stampede and Exhibition Association, is transferring the land to the association. (Photo by Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)

AB Gov’t to provide more grants for live event organizers

Live events will be getting a boost from the provincial government over the next several months.

In an announcement Friday, the province said that one-time grant funding will be available through the Stabilize Program’s Adapt and Innovate stream.

This second phase of Stabilize Program funding includes $ 3 million in matching funding allocated to non-profits that host live experiences or own and / or operate live experience venues. The government will approve and match dollar-for-dollar donations on a first-come, first-served basis until the $3 million is allocated.

Announced on Jan. 28, the first phase of the program provides one-time operational grant funding to support the reopening of live experience presenting and performing arts and sport organizations. This funding will help these organizations offset financial losses due to canceled games and events.

“Live events are critical to our quality of life and our province’s economic recovery,” said Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.

“As Alberta reopens, we are enabling non-profit organizations to develop creative solutions that will support their long-term sustainability and help them get back to hosting the live events Albertans are craving.”

All that is good news for the Ponoka Stampede, which was forced to postpone its 2021 rodeo event that was set to run later this month.

“The economic benefit of the stampede for these local organizations and residents cannot be understated as it brings over 40,000 people into our community. Due to the pandemic and cancellations, these organizations are now suffering,” said Bruce Harbin, president of the Ponoka Stampede.

“Government funding through the Stabilize Program enables us to go forward in the same level we always have and allows Ponoka organizations to actively participate and get back on their feet. ”