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Dawson Creek Music Festival back for second year—with caveats

Second annual event will be held July 10
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Jeremy Linklater launched an event dubbed the Dawson Creek Music Festival last year to breathe new life into Kin Park. He wants to expand the event this year.

They're OK with the bouncy castles. Pony rides, not so much.  

Dawson Creek city councillors on Monday voted to approve use of Kin Park for the second-annual Dawson Creek Music Festival, set for July 10. But a few thought organizer Jeremy Linklater might need to rein in his ambitions.

Linklater launched the festival last year as a free, one-day event aimed at breathing life into the old bandstand in the Kin Park Bowl. This year, Linklater hopes to extend the hours of the event, which features local musicians, as well as offer an outdoor movie and pony rides. 

If the Dawson Creek Music Festival is to happen next year, the city wants Linklater to take care of a number of liability issues. 

Mayor Dale Bumstead said organizers should create a non-profit board to run the event, as well as to administer a charitable fund Linklater envisions to help local art and music programs.  

"This isn't to put water on your parade at all, but if it's on city property, we need to make sure that foundation is in place," he told Linklater. 

Coun. Cheryl Shuman spoke against requiring Linklater to start a non-profit society before allowing use of the park. 

"I don't want to put so many roadblocks in front of him that he doesn't do it," she said. 

This year, volunteers are also required to have criminal background checks. 

Council eventually opted against pony rides, which would have involved members of 4H. Linklater won approval for extended hours, allowing the festival to run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

"I'm excited. It's going to be really fun for Dawson Creek," he said. 

As for the non-profit society, Linklater said he was researching options. 

I'd like to look into that, and I have a couple different ideas under that umbrella as well," he said.  "Some members of council said they'd help me out with that, which would be really cool." 

He added the festival is not a money maker, noting that last year's event took in only $120 in donations—$50 of which was from his mom. 

reporter@dcdn.ca