Canadian Government Refused to Help Drake’s Fest

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Drake‘s OVO Festival received $300,000 from Canada’s Ontario government last year, but this year was a different scenario. “Celebrate Ontario is a competitive program with eligibility requirements and funding is allocated based on pre-determined criteria outlined in the Celebrate Ontario 2015 Application Guide,” Blane McPhail (press secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Sport) detailed in an email to Billboard magazine. McPhail confirmed that Drake’s OVO Fest did not qualify for funding this year. 

The government is allotted $19 million in Celebrate Ontario grants for 2015. The funding is being used to provide financial backing for 270 music festivals and events this year, which is the first time the program has ever funded this many festivals. “This support will help organizers enhance programming and services, attract new audiences and create jobs in the tourism sector,” McPhail explained. Even though the OVO Fest was denied funding this year, McPhail stated he encourages Drake to reapply for funds in 2016. 

Drake is one of the biggest artists in the music industry, and his OVO Fest has drawn superstar acts such as Jay Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Eminem. This year’s festival is already sold out, and so Drake should be able to fund his own event. Right? Well, according to McPhail, Drake’s festival has grown in attendance each year since 2013. This year, the OVO Fest is expected to draw in more than 60,000 people, and bigger audiences require bigger budgets. Drake also added a few new features to this year’s festival, which includes a basketball tournament, and so those kinds of enhancements can be quite expensive as well. 

Fans shouldn’t worry that the OVO Fest will be cancelled because it didn’t receive any funding from the Canadian government, it just means the rapper will have to use funding from other sources. On a good note, the rapper’s label (OVO Sound) did receive $45,000 from the Ontario Music Fund. The OVO Fest will take place on August 1st through the 3rd in Toronto, Canada. The festival will feature performances from Drake, Big Sean, J. Cole, Jeremih, and YG. Comedian Kevin Hart will host the event, which will be held at the Air Canada Centre and the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. 

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