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Fireworks display in jeopardy due to lack of funding

The Nanaimo’s Empire Days celebration fireworks display is in jeopardy due to a shortfall of $15,000.

The Nanaimo Empire Days Society says money is in place for the Victoria Day long weekend event’s May Queen crowning ceremony and downtown parade, but there isn’t enough in its coffers for night-time pyrotechnics.

“We only have enough funds to pay for our insurance for the weekend. The trucks, the liability, the plaza – there’s insurance for everything,” said society president Nettley Mark.

In the past, the non-profit society has received support via grants from provincial gaming and the City of Nanaimo, donations and fundraising but it says some of the financial assistance is “drying up” and new sponsors and donors are needed.

The city’s annual budget has not been finalized yet and even if there is money earmarked for the event, it will likely only be a fraction of what is needed.

“Everybody’s got cutbacks,” Mark said. “There are more organizations in town.”

The society is hoping for donations from individuals or businesses and while it is seeking denominations of $2,000, $5,000 or $10,000, Mark says any contribution will be appreciated.

“Ten dollar, $100, $1,000, $10,000 donations are greatly welcome,” says Mark, adding that the society has heard from the public that the fireworks display would be missed.

This year’s celebration will be the 147th consecutive Empire Days event and should money raised exceed $15,000, it will be used toward 2015 celebrations. There is no cost to the public for Empire Days celebration events.

People wishing to donate can contact Mark at nettleymark@hotmail.com or 250-751-8567 or Roy Linder at 250-758-2620 or relinder@telus.net.

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