No public funds for Drake’s OVO Fest this summer

Drake, pictured in March 2015. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

TORONTO — Canadian rapper Drake’s OVO Fest isn’t getting a handout from Ontario taxpayers this year.

OVO Fest, held during the August long weekend at the provincially-owned Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, received a $300,000 Celebrate Ontario grant in 2014.

It is not known if organizers applied for a grant this year.

At a concert in Houston this week, Drake told the crowd he will stage OVO Fest there or in Montreal, Chicago or Detroit “in the next year or two.”

Though OVO Fest isn’t getting public funds this summer, several other for-profit music festival are.

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport granted $405,000 to Republic Live for the private company’s Boots and Hearts and WayHome music festivals. Both summer events are held at Burl’s Creek Event Grounds in Oro-Medonte.

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Toronto’s Bud Light Digital Dreams electronic music festival, produced by Live Nation and Ink Entertainment, and the Field Trip music and arts festival, co-produced by Live Nation, each got $270,000.

NXNE, which is under fire for booking hip-hop artist Action Bronson for a free concert, also received a $270,000 grant.

READ MORE: A guide to live music in Toronto this summer

Other music events that were awarded Celebrate Ontario grants of $270,000 each are the Toronto Urban Roots Festival, Kitchener’s Big Music Fest, TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, Ottawa Chamberfest and the Pan-Am-O-Rama in Toronto.

Grants of $270,000 were also given to the Honda Indy, Pride Toronto, Rogers Cup, Toronto International Film Festival, Nuit Blanche, Taste of Toronto and the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo in North Stormont.

ET Canada‘s New Year’s Eve at Niagara Falls show was granted $173,000.

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.”

Click here for the full list of Celebrate Ontario grant recipients for 2015.


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