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Yellowknife offers cash for events and festivals to come back

Festival on Franklin 2019
Festival on Franklin in 2019. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

The City of Yellowknife has begun giving out grants of up to $5,000 in a bid to bring back festivals and events that have died off.

Applications for the new grants open on Monday. Money from an overall fund of $30,000 will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

The city makes clear in the grant’s name – the Festivals and Events Covid-19 Recovery Grant – that it blames the pandemic for the dwindling size of Yellowknife’s annual calendar. (Did someone say events calendar? We have one now, go add your events to it.)

City Hall says it is “supporting the recovery of the festivals and events sector by offering grants to local organizations to encourage their return, so they can continue to build and inspire our community.”

Even some events once considered fixtures, like March’s Long John Jamboree and June’s Festival on Franklin, have evaporated since the pandemic began.



More broadly, cities across North America report shortages of volunteers in recent years, with the burden of running events of all sizes now falling on fewer and fewer sets of shoulders.

Importantly, you can also apply for the new grant if your event has already happened, stretching back to anything occurring since September 2022. Alternatively, you can apply for a future event being held any time before December 31, 2023. Your event must be for an expected attendance of 50 people or more and be open to the public.

The full eligibility criteria and application details are available on the city’s website.

City Hall says it will try to process applications and have an answer back within eight weeks of submitting.