With over 30,000 three-day tickets sold and one-day tickets sales going strong, the Pemberton Festival will bring some huge economic benefits to the communities of Whistler and Pemberton this summer with concert goers booking hotels, shopping in stores, and local businesses getting directly involved by booking stalls in the festival’s marketplace.
Shane Bourbonnais, the president of touring and business development for Live Nation Canada, as well as a resident of Pemberton, is putting together a committee to ensure that the community benefits for the long term as well, by directing a share of ticket revenue to a fund to support local non-profits.
Every ticket sold for the concert, three-day or one-day, will generate a $3 donation to the fund. At this point the estimated donation is well over $100,000. Since the concert is meant to be an annual event, the donations will also be annual.
As well, Live Nation is purchasing all of the tickets to the annual Pemberton Barn Dance and bringing the dance into the music festival. The sponsors of the dance — the Pemberton Chamber of Commerce, Legion, Lions Club and Rotary Club — will get to keep that money.
“It’s our way of thanking the community for putting up with everyone coming to town for the weekend, and we wanted to do something to ensure that the community continues to benefit after everyone leaves,” said Bourbonnais. “It’s such a fast-growing community, and there are so many groups popping up that need funding. It’s a great payback for allowing us to bring everyone to Pemberton, and a legacy that everyone is going to leave behind.”
Choosing where the funds go will be up to the community, said Bourbonnais, who is in the process of putting together a board of community leaders to distribute the money.
“We’re just in the midst of putting together details, with the Pemberton Chamber spearheading the committee, and we’re meeting on Thursday (June 19) with our recommendations,” he said. “The basic idea will be to set up a new foundation or join an existing foundation… and that Live Nation would be the benefactor. A board will decide what the application process will be, which we should know more about in the next couple of weeks.
“It could be the Friendship Trail, it could be youth soccer, it could be any of the multitude of things that benefit the community… My goal is to have all the funds distributed by the end of the year.”
The Pemberton Festival takes place July 25-27 on a farm field between Pemberton and Mt. Currie on Highway 99. Headliners include Nine Inch Nails, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Tragically Hip, Coldplay and Jay-Z. For more information visit www.pembertonfestival.com.