Kids swarm a volunteer handing out freezies on a hot day at the Peachfest Grand Parade last summer. City Hall is developing a vetting strategy for its Eventful Penticton strategy, which has a goal of nuturing events outside the busy summer season as well as working with existing events. Steve Kidd/Western News

City introduces vetting policy for new events

Penticton is working on vetting policy to sort out funding and support requests from new events.

The city’s Eventful Penticton strategy, introduced last August, is moving forward with the introduction of a vetting policy to sort out funding and support requests.

“Investments opportunities and requests are as frequent and varied as the events themselves,” said Chad Douglas, sports and events project manager, calling the vetting process a necessary step in making the most of resources.

More: City of Penticton wants to build on event strategy

Developing a vetting process would help council choose where to invest funds with a clear assessment of the potential return on investment and make the city more growth ready, he explained, describing the vetting strategy as an economic development tool.

Developing the strategy includes consulting with granting agencies and producing a checklist for applicants and toolkit for recipients, an application form, a promotional plan and a series of workshops.

Coun. Andre Martin questioned what would qualify as an event under the strategy.

Douglas noted that there are single day events that are important to the community, but Eventful Penticton focuses on maximizing return.

“What we are talking about here is event tourism, so that really captures events that go beyond one day,” said Douglas. “We’re not going to rule out anything, but the criteria speaks for itself. The value goes up the more the duration of the event goes up.”

Douglas said one of the main goals of Eventful Penticton is building capacity for events beyond sports and summer, showing a graph with outdoor events stacking up in the summer to a high peak.

“In order to make the city more livable, we need to do more year round,” he said. “The real opportunities for economic growth lies in months like April and October. A vetting process tells us which events and organizations will make that shift and what it will take in terms of support.”

Douglas noted a graph of the arts events would show the opposite, active in the winter, not so active in the summer.

“There is a lot of work to be done to build capacity in our arts community,” said Douglas. “The outdoor events is the most acute example of how we load up in the summers.“

Developing the strategy includes consulting with granting agencies and producing a checklist for applicants and toolkit for recipients, an application form, a promotional plan and a series of workshops.

Council voted unanimously to support Douglas request to refer the vetting process to a workshop dealing with the city’s municipal grant policy and process.