Over $150K in Grants Available Through Host It Downtown Events Program


JANUARY 3, 2017


Winnipeg, Manitoba – For the third year in a row the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is formally reaching out to local event planners to invite them to host their events downtown.

The Host It Downtown program is an initiative that offers individual event planners and organizations the opportunity to apply for grant funding to hold their events in the City’s downtown. Successful applicants also receive education, expert advice, and a wide range of supports and resources to make their event a success.

The goal of the Host It Downtown program is to encourage activity in the city center and help reinforce the area as Winnipeg’s most entertaining, exciting and vibrant year-round meeting spot and playground. The program helps reduce the risk inherent in developing or relocating an event downtown, while simultaneously providing an incentive to develop or move an event downtown.

“Host It Downtown came about in 2015 as we saw a need to assist event planners and organizations with their events in terms of funding options, liaising with partners including the City of Winnipeg, and providing creative support,” explains Stefano Grande, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ CEO.

“The BIZ loves seeing events happen throughout the year,” Grande adds, “and we believe that we can be the catalyst to help drive more events, creating great experiences for our guests and showcasing out downtown. Activating our downtown is a strategic goal developed as part of our eight point strategy as part of the 2017-2019 Strategic Plan and this program continues to give more opportunities to invite guests to experience downtown Winnipeg.”

In 2016, the Host It Downtown Committee approved $48,000 in funding for 21 new or relocated festivals, parades, concerts and showcases. These included the very green St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the highly successful Interstellar Rodeo, the Winnipeg BBQ and Blues Festival which took over Smith Street near the Burton Cummings Theatre, and the brand new Manitoba Filipino Street Festival.

In keeping with the Host It Downtown criteria, all 21 of last year’s funded events were held outdoors or had a significant outdoor component, and most were held in the winter, evenings, or weekends.

The program’s criteria are the same this year. Events must take place outdoors, and should, ideally be planned for the winter, an evening or weekend. They can be relocated, recurring, one-time only or completely original, and must be sustainable and have a minimal environmental impact.

Beyond that anything goes. The events can be fun, or they can be serious. They can be educational or purely entertaining. Events can run for a few hours or for several days. They can feature local talent or imported artists and they can celebrate a single culture or rejoice in our City’s remarkable diversity.

Applications for the 2017 Host It Downtown program can be found now at http://downtownwinnipegbiz.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Feb-2017-Host-It-Application.pdf .

Completed applications must be submitted by February 1, 2017.

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For more information, please contact:

Tineke de Jong
Director of Marketing, Events and Communications
Downtown Winnipeg BIZ
Tel: 204-958-4635