Twelve events, programs and organizations known to boost tourism in Blaine received thousands in grant funding per a recommendation issued by the Blaine Tourism Advisory Committee (BTAC)
BTAC began drafting a list of recommendations in August 2016 and received final approval from the Blaine City Council on December 12. A total of $91,000 was awarded through the annual grant program, which is funded through a citywide lodging tax.
The operation of the Historic Plover Ferry received $30,000; Blaine’s Old-Fashioned Fourth of July received $15,000; the Drayton Harbor Music Festival received $10,000; the Peace Arch outdoor sculpture exhibition received $7,500; the Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival received $6,000; the Hands Across the Border event received $5,000; Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism received $5,000; the International Arts and Music Festival at Peace Arch Park received $4,000; the Blaine Harbor Art Gallery received $2,500; the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce received $2,500 for a cooperative advertising program with Blaine; Drayton Harbor Days received $2,000; and the music for the International Arts and Music Festival at Peace Arch Park received $1,500.
By law, the state of Washington requires recipients of the program to use the grant funding to promote tourism and overnight stays. Applicants must also have a proven ability to align with the goals of the Blaine Tourism and Marketing Development Plan. The city already uses funding from the tax for marketing, a tourism development and Blaine Visitor Center staff member and operating expenses.
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