MLAs debate funding for Cavendish Beach Music Festival
A $200,000 grant to the Cavendish Beach Music Festival is a good investment, says Tourism Minister Chris Palmer.
Last week, Palmer, the MLA for Summerside-Wilmot, was on the floor of the P.E.I. legislature for a review of his department’s budget where MLAs asked about the annual funding for the country music concerts.
Palmer said the festival gives one of the best returns on investment among the grants the department gives.
“We’re happy to continue to support that where we have a return on it very quickly,” he said.
Over the years, the Cavendish Beach Music Festival has been a major summer draw for tens of thousands of country music fans.
Some of the biggest names in the industry have performed at the annual festival. Palmer said the government recovers its investment in the festival through tax revenues associated with the event. Rustico-Emerald MLA Brad Trivers said the festival has been successful, well attended and is well past the pilot project stage.
“How come we’re still funding them at $200,000?” he asked. Trivers wondered if the government needs to keep giving the festival funding, considering how successful it has become. Palmer said there could be a risk if the government didn’t provide the funding.
“Are we comfortable to have that risk exposure or make an investment in something that we get an almost immediate return on?”
After further questions from MLAs, Palmer agreed to commit to a review program for funding to various projects.