Air Show Funding Challenge

Vanderhoof International Airshow organizers are hoping the new NDP government in B.C. will have a change of heart and re-instate its past level of financial support for the show. The government is enforcing strict limits on government grant spending for the show. Although the government says the event qualifies for tourism-related funding, that money can only be spent on advertising and promotion and not the fuel, accommodation and hospitality expenses for performers that it has been used for in the past. “That really helps us very little as it excludes our largest area of expenditure,” said Co-Chair Tom Bulmer. “As of right now, we’re just not seeing the level of support from the B.C. government that we’ve had in the past.”

The Canadian Forces is sending the Snowbirds, CF-18 demo team and Skyhawks parachute team to the event, which is planned for Aug. 4. Those teams alone will need 58 hotel rooms and a lot of fuel. The total budget for the show is $200,000 and local community groups are doing their best to make up the shortfall. The Vanderhoof show alternates with Quesnel to bring air show acts to B.C.’s central interior. The Quesnel Skyfest was canceled last year because the Quesnel Airport was needed for use as a firefighting base.