Regina winter festival plans moving forward as executive committee approves $150K grant ask

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Regina Executive Committee approves winter festival grant
WATCH: A 10-day winter festival is anticipated to come to Regina in February. On Wednesday, Executive Committee passed a motion that city council approve a $150,000 grant for the festival. – Nov 3, 2021

The City of Regina Executive Committee is recommending the city council support the proposed Winter Festival with a grant up to $150,000.

The motion was passed unanimously during Wednesday’s meeting.

The support is subject to a number of conditions including that the Winter Festival committee plan and host the event through a comprehensive budget and the City accepts no obligations for deficits, loans or guarantees for the festival.

The executive committee recommends city council approve these recommendations at the Nov. 10 meeting.

The Regina Winter Festival Committee (RWFC) is made up of members from several organizations including Regina Downtown Business Improvement District, Regina’s Warehouse district, and Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL).

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Ward 4 Coun. Lori Bresciani, who also sits on RWFC, praised the committee and city staff for their planning efforts.

“People can go out in the winter. You don’t have to hibernate. Families can go out and there’s going to be, as we’ve indicated, the snowshoeing, the dog sledding, there’s so many things and it’s well rounded,” Bresciani said.

“There’s the cultural aspects of it as well, there’s going to be many, many aspects of culture that it’s threaded throughout this whole festival,” she added.

“I think it’s an opportunity to support local businesses, local artists, and revitalize our economy when we need it most.”

RWFC is proposing four hubs to launch Frost Regina, the hubs include Regina Downtown, the Regina Warehouse District, the Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) and Wascana Park.

REAL President and CEO Tim Reid said in addition to the $150,000 ask for the city, RWFC is also looking for the same amount from the provincial government.

The proposed festival will include affordable programming from ice carvings, snow mazes, Indigenous storytelling, local cuisine, skating on the lake and at Mosaic Stadium, and light shows.

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The festival is scheduled over 10 days and is planned to run from Feb. 4 until Feb. 14.

Reid said the festival is anticipated to bring in 120,000 attendees and generate over $6 million in economic impact for both the city and the province.

Reid added a developed Frost Regina budget indicates the event will generate over $1.7 million in revenue opportunity, which should lead to a “break-even” financial position at the end of the event.

Frost Regina is also looking for support from the Regina Hotel Association and applying for federal grant opportunities as well as seeking private sponsorship partners.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Reid said the festival will celebrate community.

“Ultimately, this is an opportunity for us to embrace winter,” Reid said.

“This year, our city council approved a new winter city strategy, and I think today’s acknowledgement in support at Executive Committee of moving Frost Regina forward was a strong statement that not only do we want to talk about being an amazing winter city, we want to actualize it.”

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