Elements of this year’s Spirit of the Sea Festival will have to be scaled back – or cancelled entirely – if more sponsors don’t step up within the week.
The fireworks would be the most visible loss, according to event chair John Timms, who said the deadline for sponsorship is July 19.
“At this point the fireworks are not funded and they may be cut,” he said Tuesday.
It’s not the first time the festival favourite has faced the chopping block. Funding was late coming in last year, and in 2009, organizers were prepared to axe the display until a sponsor stepped in at the last minute, allowing the show to go on.
The fireworks cost about $10,000 to put on, and they aren’t the only aspect of the festival in jeopardy, according to Timms.
“The entertainment program might have to be scaled back because there’s the cost of hiring the entertainers. There’s also costs in terms of equipment, the rental of equipment and production of the entertainment program,” he said. “Our ability to present a full lineup of entertainment is dependent upon additional sponsorship dollars materializing prior to July 19.”
About $5,000 is needed to cover entertainment costs, and a sponsor would receive naming rights to the Main Stage.
There are also smaller sponsorship opportunities available, such as funding individual events.
Timms attributed a lack of sponsorship partly to the organizing committee forming late and not having enough time to rally the community.
“The sponsorship drives traditionally would begin early in the fall but the committee, as it stands now for most of us or at least for a number of us, have joined the committee since the new year.”
The group is still looking for people to join the committee and help seek out sponsorship. Volunteers are also sought, especially those with prior festival experience.
The Spirit of the Sea Festival will be held July 29 to Aug. 1 on White Rock Beach.
For more information, visit spiritofthesea.ca. Donations can be left at the White Rock Chamber of Commerce, 100-15261 Russell Ave. The sea festival executive can be contacted via the chamber at 604-536-6844.