Scottsdale City Council approves $240K in additional funding for Canal Convergence

The Canal Convergence will receive an additional $240,000 for the public art installation along the waterfront planned Nov. 9-18. (File photo)

Scottsdale City Council has authorized $240,000 in additional funding to support the waterfront wonderment known locally as Canal Convergence.

A resolution authorizing the transfer of $240,000 to the Tourism and Events Department operating budget was approved on consent April 10 during the city council meeting at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

The new request to council will cover artist fees, administration and marketing costs and waterfront infrastructure, according to a city staff report.

This follows a unanimous decision by city council on June 27, 2017, authorizing a fiscal year 2017-18 tourism development fund operating contingency transfer of $650,000 for the 2018 Canal Convergence events.

The June funding included moving the event from spring to November, and hosting the event annually. The $650,000 funds were designated for $500,000 in expenses for temporary public art pieces; the recent Canal Convergence held Feb. 23-24 and March 2-3; plus a $150,000 advance to seed an international artist for this November’s event.

Although extra funding was not proposed at the time for the upcoming event, Scottsdale Public Art recently requested an additional $240,000 to cover more expenses such as a one-time cost of $112,000 for waterfront infrastructure to support ongoing art installations above the canal.

With the $650,000 requested in the 2017-18 budget and the extra $240,000 this fiscal year, the tourism development fund operating contingency transfers total $890,000 as noted on the staff report.

The fiscal year 2018-19 out-of-budget request of $750,000 was made to include funding of $600,000 for this November’s Canal Convergence and a $150,000 advance to seed an international artist for the November 2019 event.

Efforts are under way to sustain Scottsdale as a tourist destination by continuing to improve Canal Convergence, like other light festivals throughout the country and world, the city staff report stated. Scottsdale Public Art, which organizes the Canal Convergence, will offer an additional $228,000 through sponsorships, grants and on-site sales as it transitions to a 10-day function planned Nov. 9-18.

The event’s expansion includes collaborating with the city and other organizations in discussions such as Experience Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Gallery Association and Taliesin West.

Independent Newsmedia News Services Specialist Delarita Ford can be reached by e-mail at

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