The group that took over Langley Canada Day celebrations this year is $35,000 in the red, mostly because the federal government took away a grant they were counting on to balance their books.
The admission was made during a Monday afternoon (Sept. 29) appearance before Township council by Shar Dubas and Bal Sabharwal of the Langley International Festival Society, which took over the duties of the Langley Canada Day Celebrations Society in January of this year.
They said a $35,500 Canadian Heritage grant was approved, then withdrawn because the combined Canada Day and multicultural festival was supposed to run three days, not two.
“There seems to have been a misunderstanding,” said Dubas, who added the International Festival Society may not be able to continue running Canada Day if funds can’t be found.
Because of the unexpected deficit, the organizers are having trouble paying suppliers, Sabharwal said.
“Right now, we are in a hole, and we have bills to pay,” Sabharwal said.
“We are in dire need.”
Councillors expressed sympathy, but said they aren’t willing to consider a bail-out until they get a more detailed look at the group’s books.
“That is a lot of money,” Councillor Michelle Sparrow said.
“I urge you to give us more information.”
Councillors also suggested the organizers approach the City of Langley.