by ROY WOOD
Against the advice of its own staff and advisory committee, Osoyoos council voted Monday to give $1,000 to a private dance studio to help send a dozen young dancers to Disneyland.
Dance Oasis – a for-profit studio — asked the town for an unspecified donation to help offset costs of flights and accommodation. The group has already raised more than $15,000 through other donations and fund-raising events.
According to a report to council from community services director Gerald Davis, the troupe will attend “a camp featuring Disneyland choreographers along with a parade, where they will perform live.”
Davis said the request was presented last month to the Community Services Advisory Committee.
The committee unanimously rejected the request, deeming it to be outside the town policy to provide funding for “teams and individuals who are competing at a provincial level or higher.” The Disneyland trip is not for competition.
In the “implications” section of his report, Davis said: “Having representation from our community at this venue is prestigious, but supporting it financially may not be in the best interest of the community.”
The report recommended a token donation of $100 plus providing the group with town paraphernalia like pins and caps.
However, after praising the hard work the girls have put in preparing and practising, and the lifelong memories they will garner from the trip, council voted to donate $1,000 from the grant-in-aid fund.
Councillor Jim King, who is a none-voting member of the committee that voted against the grant, did not take part in the debate. He said in an interview with ODN this morning that he didn’t raise his hand for the vote, but was counted as in favour.
Asked about his notable lack of enthusiasm for the donation, he said: “Well, it goes against policy.”
Meanwhile, council approved a staff recommendation to increase funding or the Music in the Park program from $10,000 to $15,000 for 2019.
The summer-long series of concerts at the Giro Park band shell has proven a success for residents and visitors.
According to a report from chief administrative officer Barry Romanko, the increase will allow the Three Amigos volunteer committee to increase the quality of the entertainment.
The money comes from the provincial Resort Municipalities Initiative grant.