TORONTO — Rap star Drake is getting cash from taxpayers in his native Ontario to stage his two-day OVO FEST in Toronto this summer.
The event, scheduled for Aug. 3 and 4, was awarded a $300,000 grant from the Celebrate Ontario program administered by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Capacity at OVO FEST — held at the provincially-owned Molson Canadian Amphitheatre — is limited to about 16,000 fans per day.
According to Ticketmaster, two-day passes are priced between $124.80 and $347.50 and individual tickets are available for $66.50.
Provincial funding for OVO FEST is $7,000 more than the 10-day TD Toronto Jazz Festival received and $3,000 more than the 10-day Royal Agricultural Fair was given.
It also puts Drake’s event on par with the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept. 4-14), the Stratford Festival of theatre, Rogers Cup tennis tournament (Aug. 2-10) and JFL42 comedy festival (Sept. 18-27).
The fifth annual OVO FEST will feature performances by Drake, Outkast and special guests.
In previous years, Eminem, Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Diddy and Kanye West have made surprise appearances.
According to Forbes, Drake earned more than $30 million in the last two years.
The 27-year-old rapper was born and raised in Toronto. OVO FEST is named for his company, October’s Very Own.
Celebrate Ontario grants are intended to help festivals and events “enhance programs, activities and services that will lead to long-term improvements. This support helps grow tourism in the province by making it easier for festival and event organizers to offer new and improved experiences that will attract more tourists and increase visitor spending.”
While dozens of Celebrate Ontario grants are handed out, only a handful top $300,000. These include the Canadian Tulip Festival, TD Ottawa Jazz Festival and RBC Bluesfest.
ET Canada‘s New Year’s Eve at Niagara Falls received $184,500 this year.