Missoula Summer festivals to be boosted by grants

Two popular summer festivals in Missoula, Montana, USA, are to be boosted with the issue of grants from the Montana Office of Tourism’s Special Events Grants.

The office provided Missoula’s International Choral Festival with USD10,885. The money is to be used to extend the marketing of the city’s July event. Similarly, the Missoula Celtic Festival was awarded a grant of USD7,800 to help run the annual event in Caras Park. Authorities said that the grant would help the organisers to market the festival to a much larger area.

One of the organising committee’s top official said, ‘It opens up the opportunities to market to a lot of new markets, in Idaho and Washington. We didn’t have that budget in place (for that extended marketing). It’s huge for us because we want to bring in as many audience members as possible. It’s just great to have the ability to market, as this festival should be marketed. We’re a non-profit and we have to raise all the money. Usually (marketing) is focused closer to home, but really this is an international event and people come from all over. It’s just really nice to have that money to do it. We’re not going to be limiting ourselves.’

The new funding is expected to help the event’s organisers to undertake promotions in main markets, including eastern Washington and northern Idaho. In addition, the festival will reach out across Montana.

The Choir festival brings choirs from around the world to Missoula for five days of concerts, and this year it is to be held from July 17 to 21. Choirs from several countries including Argentina and Zimbabwe will be involved. Festival organisers are hopeful that with the funding, even more tourists will visit the event than the usual 25,000.

The Montana Office of Tourism’s Special Events Grant Programme has awarded around USD200,000 worth of grants to 17 different tourism-related events across the state this year.