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Province restores funding to Beaches Jazz Festival: reports

The Ontario government has restored funding to the Beaches Jazz Festival after a large public outcry.

Earlier this month, festival executive producer Lido Chilelli told 680News the province did not renew the $75,000 grant after six years of consistent funding.

In a statement, Culture Minister Michael Chan announced Tuesday the funding would be restored, according to reports in the Toronto Star and The Canadian Press.

Chan said the money would be used to increase the “diversity” of the acts at the festival.

Last year, 500,000 people attended the festival. The free 10-day event generates $65 million for the Toronto economy and over $30 million of that right in the Beach area, Beaches-East York MPP Michael Prue said in a statement.

Chilelli said the festival had applied for funding under the Celebrate Ontario program. The Ontario government had been criticized for denying the grant to the Beaches yet awarding $300,000 to rap superstar Drake for his summertime OVO Fest.

During Tuesday’s announcement, Chan said the money will come from the Ontario Music Fund.