Fireworks doused for sea festival

Fireworks at this summer’s Spirit of the Sea Festival have been cancelled.

Fireworks at this summer’s Spirit of the Sea Festival have been cancelled.

Event chair John Timms said Wednesday that sponsorship couldn’t be pinned down for the $10,000 event by the July 19 deadline, despite a public call for support last week.

While some have stepped forward with smaller donations, much of that money has been dedicated to specific areas of the festival, and the lesser amounts wouldn’t be enough to cover a costly element such as the fireworks anyway, Timms said.

“We’re not getting the $5,000 and $10,000 sponsors.”

Cost of presenting the 45-minute fireworks display – which was scheduled for Saturday, July 30 – is approximately the same as the total production costs for the festival’s three entertainment stages, Timms noted.

Despite worries last week that a lack of funding would result in cutbacks to the entertainment program, Timms said a full slate of performances and activities will go ahead as planned thanks to local musicians “playing for far less than they would normally get.”

“Across the board, they have reduced their fees to play this festival and support the community.”

Vendor fees have financed the festival’s core activities, Timms said, and the City of White Rock has given financial support and lent equipment.

“What has been missing in recent years is support within the business community,” he said. “We understand that most businesses are themselves having to deal with reduced revenues and increased costs, and that few are in a position to contribute at the level they have in past years.

“Even small sponsorships at this late stage will make a difference in this year’s festival, and place the festival in a stronger position for next year.”

The festival will be held July 29 to Aug. 1 on White Rock beach.

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