Taxpayers are rallying behind a major sports event and there may be more to come.
The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has decided to forgive the about $7,000 in rent the Sovereign Lake Nordic Club needed to pay to rent Wesbild Centre for Masters World Cup ceremonies.
“There is seed money already budgeted to promote events (at Wesbild),” said director Jim Garlick.
“We wanted to find a way to support it without over-taxing.”
The Sparkling Hill Masters World Cup runs from March 3 to 11 at Sovereign Lake.
World Cup organizers had recently asked the City of Vernon for $15,000 and an in-kind equipment request of $3,000.
The city passed the matter on to GVAC for consideration.
However, the North Okanagan Regional District does not have the ability to provide grants to community groups, so each individual jurisdiction in Greater Vernon will determine if it wants to fund the World Cup.
“It’s being held in Area C and I support the idea of outdoor pursuits,” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director, adding, though that he see how much grant money he has available and what he can provide.
The City of Vernon will also look at funding the World Cup.
“It will come back to council to make a decision,” said director Jack Gilroy.
“It’s an important event. When we get world-class events, we need to support them because they bring people into the area.”
It’s anticipated the Masters will draw about 2,000 skiers and spectators from around the world and generate up to $6 million in local economic activity.
Mike Gavinchuk, BX-Swan Lake director, and the District of Coldstream will also go through a similar funding process of looking at grants.
“We will definitely consider it,” said Doug Dirk, a Coldstream director.
“We use Sovereign Lake and the economic benefit of the Masters is obvious for the entire region.”
Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre received $25,000 from NORD’s now lapsed regional economic development function in 2010 for the Masters World Cup.