FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2013
Carol Crockett, SEGP Program Manager, Montana Office of Tourism, (406) 841-2796
Ronja M. Abel, Communications Director, (406) 841-2557
Montana Communities Receive Commerce Funds for Tourism-Related Events
(Helena, MT) – Fairs, festivals and special events highlight the character and heart of communities – and in Montana, these events draw travelers from near and far to experience and enjoy our distinctive celebrations. The Montana Department of Commerce is awarding funds from the Montana Office of Tourism’s Special Events Grant Program (SEGP) to nine Montana communities for twelve events across the state to help support Montana’s second-largest industry as it continues to bring new revenue to the economy.
“Holding special events serves as an important catalyst for bringing visitors into our downtowns and main streets,” said Department of Commerce Director Meg O’Leary. “And in turn, our small businesses have the opportunity to capture a portion of the $3 billion being spent annually by Montana’s 11 million visitors.”
The Montana communities receiving SEGP funds are Bozeman, Missoula, Hamilton, Great Falls, Billings, Seeley Lake, Bigfork, Polson and Helena. Funds will be used to assist in the marketing and promotion of tourism-related events. The SEGP grants were approved following recommendations from Department of Commerce staff, Tourism Advisory Council members and representatives of Montana’s public and private businesses.
Communities Receiving 2013 – 2014 SEGP Awards:
• Bozeman: Sweet Pea, a Festival of the Arts ($14,000) Sponsor: Sweet Pea, A Festival of the Arts
• Missoula: Celtic Festival Missoula ($15,425) Sponsor: Montana Diva Foundation
• Hamilton: Bitterroot Scottish Irish Festival ($4,500) Sponsor: Montana Gaelic Cultural Society
• Great Falls: The Russell ($20,000) Sponsor: Trigg-CM Russell Foundation
• Hamilton: Hamilton’s Weekend: Daly Days & Bitterroot Microbrew Fest ($6,000) Sponsor: Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce
• Great Falls: Lewis & Clark Festival ($19,000) Sponsor: Lewis & Clark Foundation
• Missoula: Big Sky Documentary Film Festival ($19,590) Sponsor: Big Sky Film Institute
• Billings: Symphony in the Park ($4,500) Sponsor: Billings Symphony Society
• Seeley Lake: Seeley Lake Winterfest ($2,500) Sponsor: Seeley Lake Area Chamber of Commerce
• Bigfork: Chalk ‘n Rock Festival ($5,000) Sponsor: Bigfork Area Chamber of Commerce
• Polson: Flathead Lake International Cinemafest ($7,500) Sponsor: Polson Community Development Agency
• Helena: Running Amok for Scholarship Bucks ($10,000) Sponsor: Student Assistance Foundation
The Montana Office of Tourism Special Events Grant Program (SEGP) was created in 2002 to assist communities with economic development through the creation and/or enhancement of annual, on-going events. Grant funds are available for event marketing and promotion outside a 100-mile radius of the event. To date, the SEGP has provided over $1 million in grant funding to 118 events in various Montana communities.
The deadline for the next round of grant applications will be announced in June 2014. For more information, contact the Montana Office of Tourism at (406) 841-2870.