By Barb McKay
This year’s Bruce Telecom Lighthouse Blues Festival will be bigger and better than ever before, says its organizer.
Rick Clarke told Kincardine council during a presentation last Wednesday evening that since the event was launched in 2010 it has grown to become one of the most prominent blues festivals in
“Our plan is to make it a major regional tourist attraction in
In its first year, the Lighthouse Blues Festival had just one stage, a budget of $10,000 and drew 500 fans. Last year, organizers had a budget of $40,000 and expanded the festival to four stages. The two-day event included a downtown street market, children’s activities and drew more than 3,000 fans.
Clarke said each year the festival has ramped up the caliber of talent it has lined up and this year will be no exception. As a result, he noted, he hopes the festival will draw 5,000 blues fans to Kincardine, which in turn will be a significant boost for economic development and tourism.
This the second year that the festival has partnered with Bruce Telecom and, as was done last year, proceeds from the event will go to the Kincardine Lions Club splash pad project. Last year, $10,000 was donated.
“We’re quite proud of that,” Clarke said. “It was a significant kick-off to their fundraising efforts.”
This year’s festival, to be held July 12 and 13, will be bigger than ever before. There will be a downtown street market on July 13, an interactive art zone and art exhibits, a children’s art area, an expanded youth performance area and a motorcycle and vintage British car show.
The festival committee has submitted an application for a $5,000 community grant, which is expected to be considered this week. Clarke told council that he hopes that one day the festival will be considered part of the municipality’s tourism program so it will not have to compete each year for grants.