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Regina 'Winterfest' going ahead with over $200K in city funding

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REGINA -

Regina city council has approved $210,000 in funding for the city’s first Winterfest aimed at helping residents embrace the cold season.

The Frost in Regina Committee, made up of representatives from University of Regina, MacKenzie Art Gallery, RDBID, Tourism Saskatchewan, city administration and more, is planning a 10-day winter festival that would take place at four hubs across the city: Downtown District, the Warehouse District, Evraz Place and Wascana Park.

Events would include horse and wagon brewery tours, downtown concerts, a snow maze, Indigenous storytelling and skating at Mosaic Stadium.

“We believe that this festival is keeping with the recently approved Winter City Strategy which has a focus on activation of public engagement outdoors in the winter. As well as lighting up the night sky and major events,” Tim Reid, with the Frost in Regina Committee, said.

Most events would be free, with a ticket cost to get onto the Evraz grounds to access all events happening there.

At council’s executive committee meeting on November 3, the Frost Committee asked for $150,000 to help fund the project.

Sandra Masters, Mayor of Regina, said executive committee challenged them to come up with more.

“If we had more funds to allocate, what would they do,” Masters said.

The committee came to the city council meeting on Wednesday asking for an additional $60,000 to be put towards making the final day of the festival completely free.

“Currently the price tag for entrance [at Evraz Place] is $17,” Reid said. “But it gets you access to Iceville, gets you access to activations in confederation park, gets you access to glow, which is our large 65,000 square foot indoor light assembly, and it will get you access to the only drone show to happen outside of Toronto and Vancouver in Canada.”

He added that instead of fireworks, the committee plans to use technology and drones to put on a light show to finish the festival.

Council unanimously approved the full $210,000 ask, with the money coming out of the City’s 2022 events, conventions and trade show attractions budget.

“I think that free events for all that would fill mosaic stadium, and again any time we can provide free community access into that stadium, is a really good thing,” Masters said Wednesday. “But to have a drone show and light show to end it with a bang is very welcome by council.”

The festival will take place from February 4 to 13. A full list of events and a schedule will be announced in December.

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