Vocal Point: With funding threatened, Valleyfest needs support
Dec. 1 Valley Voice headline read: “Valleyfest granted no funds”
It has become very clear how lack of funding will negatively affect a successful community festival. Valleyfest is a volunteer-driven, community-based festival and has expanded into a regional event with the investment of businesses and city funding. Through the successful promotion of Valleyfest, visitors are drawn to the Spokane Valley and Eastern Washington to shop, stay and enjoy the amenities our region has to offer.
The city has for several years supplied lodging tax funds to Valleyfest. This year Valleyfest asked for $50,000 from the $430,000 available. The request is in line with both the letter and the intent of the funding laws. The application was not approved and told to reapply in January for funds to be distributed in March. This is an inadequate time to develop a sponsorship/marketing plan.
Impact on the festival
Valleyfest needs the endorsement of the city of Spokane Valley just as the city of Spokane Valley needs Valleyfest for community identity, economic development and for a healthy community.
Impact on volunteers
Valleyfest is volunteer-driven with more than 25 core volunteers planning the event and more than 200 working during the three-day festival. Appreciation is one of the biggest motivators in volunteering. Our volunteers love Valleyfest, the smiles on people’s faces and the diversity that we have brought to the community.
Impact on sponsors
Several sponsors have indicated a reduction in funding if we are not able to market Valleyfest at the level that we were able to in 2011.Valleyfest’s current projected budget is $150,000. Funding resources are 80 percent by civic and corporate sponsorships and booth fees, 20 percent fundraising, donations and grants. The hotel-motel tax funds are used for marketing and promotion of the event, not the actual event expenses. In all promotions, the icons for the city of Spokane Valley, Mirabeau Point Park and CenterPlace Regional Event Center are used to promote the city and its facilities. These monies are used to leverage sponsorship with the purpose of reaching attendees.
What can you do to make Valleyfest happen in 2012?
The city of Spokane Valley was incorporated so that that money would be invested for our needs. Valleyfest is an opportunity to market our economic and cultural opportunities of the Spokane Valley. From past experiences, there has been strong lobbying for the money to be awarded to other agencies and not to fund Valleyfest.
Give your elected City Council the power of your voice. They are your representatives.
If you need more information on the state law regarding these tax funds, please refer to RCW 67.28.080 and the revisions as amended in 2007.
We encourage you to call, write or email the City Council: (509) 921-1000 or Mayor/council members@ spokanevalley.org.
Valleyfest Executive Director Peggy Doering can be reached by email at Peggy@Valleyfest.org.