Niagara Grape and Wine festival not impacted by provincial funding cut

A major festival in Niagara will not be hit by provincial funding cuts.

The Ford government has announced almost $7 million in cuts to the Celebrate Ontario Grant, leaving many festival organizers left to come up with the cash.

However, Niagara Grape and Wine Festival Executive Director Dorian Anderson says they got everything they were hoping for.

"The government is looking to get some return on investment from some of these festival funds, so we really had to prove that not only are we hosting a great event, but we are driving economic benefit to the region, but also to the other tourism partners in the area."

Anderson also notes the application process was very different, joking that it almost felt like going back to school.

"It was driven home time and time again, as well as how the scoring works, that driving benefit to the neighbouring communities, essentially sharing the wealth, is what the point is of the new Celebrate program."

Grape and Wine organizers only applied for funding for the fall festival.

Grape and Wine has been drawing thousands of people to Niagara over the course of 68 years.

You can listen to the full interview with CKTB's Matt Holmes on our Audio page.