Tourism Events Grant Funding

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The City of Kirkland's Tourism Program has $20,000 in tourism grants available for 2024 events that meet the program criteria. This funding is available due to several 2024 awarded events having cancelled. 


Application window opens:    May 8, 2024

Application window closes:   May 20, 2024 at 5pm PST




2024 Program Year Criteria

In addition to State requirements, the TDC has identified the following criteria that will be used in evaluating and ranking applicants:

Tourist Attraction and Marketing—50 points
The extent the event/program demonstrates the ability to attract visitors from 50 miles or more away and generate overnight stays.

Project Scope—20 points
The extent the event/program improves the City's overall values of providing a positive and welcoming visitor experience to everyone including people of color (BIPOC – Black, Indigenous and People of Color), people of different cultures, people who do not speak English, LGBTQIA+ people, people of different economic status, and people with accessibility needs; and promoting the area's existing attractions including the Kirkland waterfront, Totem Lake, the Cross Kirkland Corridor and other compelling areas of Kirkland.

Economic Impact—10 points
The extent the event/program will generate a positive economic impact by supporting small Kirkland-based businesses and increasing visitor expenditures in Kirkland

Project Success and Sustainability—10 points
The extent the applicant has a track record of implementing a successful event/program including contract and permit compliance. The ability of the event to secure additional funding sources beyond City of Kirkland tourism funding.

Community Collaboration—10 points
The extent the applicant partners and collaborates with other Kirkland events and organizations and especially forms culturally diverse partnerships, in leveraging resources and marketing efforts.

Bonus Points:

Shoulder Season Impact—15 points
Events that take place in the shoulder season (October–April) qualify for up to 10 bonus points.

Safe, Inclusive, and Welcoming Events—15 points
It is a priority for the City that its values of supporting a diverse community through efforts of inclusion of diverse cultures and making everyone feel safe and welcome are extended in all that we do to better serve the community. Applicants that go above and beyond in making their projects reflect these values qualify for up to 10 bonus points.

Multiday Competitive Tournaments (athletic and otherwise)—15 points
Events that offer multiple days (two or more) of competitive activities, whether athletic tournaments or competitive gaming events, qualify for up to 10 bonus points. 

Non-Reimbursable Expenses: Awarded funds may not be used to reimburse anything other than marketing and operations of programs and festivals designed to attract tourists. Non-reimbursable expenses include but are not limited to: alcohol, pre-paid Visa cards, staff gifts, parking tickets, traffic citations, rental cars, and off-duty police contracts.

City of Kirkland Special Event Permits: All applicants must contact the Special Event Permitting Office prior to submitting this application to understand the requirements necessary for the production of their event. Please contact Sudie Elkayssi, Special Event Special Projects Coordinator at or call (425) 587-3347 to determine permit needs and requirements. If an event is awarded tourism funding but is unable to receive special event permitting approval, awarded tourism funding will be subject to reallocation by the Tourism Development Committee for the current or a future funding cycle.

City of Kirkland Business License: Organizations holding events in Kirkland are required to obtain a City of Kirkland business license. Business license information can be found on the City’s website under Business Licenses or by calling (425) 587-3140. Proof of a City of Kirkland business license is due 30 days prior to your event.

Federal Taxpayer Information: Awarded applicants will be required to provide to the City their W9 showing a valid tax identification number (EIN) and must have a tax filing status that allows for receiving of grant funding.

Publicity/Promotion Policy: Prominent display of the Explore Kirkland logo (and link to where applicable) is required of tourism funding recipients in all publicity materials including, but not limited to, electronic promotion (website, social media), brochures, press releases, programs, posters, public service announcements, flyers, newsletters, and advertisements. The Explore Kirkland logo will be provided at the same time as the Municipal Services Agreement. Events will be required to submit promotional material and/or electronic screenshots with displayed Explore Kirkland logo with reimbursement forms.

Event Photos: In order to assist with tourism event promotion we ask festival and event coordinators to submit five to eight high resolution (300 dpi) photos. If your event is new and you don’t have photos, please provide any promotional graphics and/or event logos you’d like used for promotion. We may include these photos/images/logos in tourism promotion collateral, web and social media promotions, and publicity outreach. Please submit these photos/images/logos no later than February 28, 2023.

Tourism Grant Recipient Requirements

Washington State Reporting Requirements: In 2013, the Washington Legislature added a provision to the Lodging Tax Statute (RCW 67.28.1816(2)(a)) which requires: Applicants applying for use of revenues in this chapter must provide estimates of how any moneys received will result in increases in the number of people traveling for business or pleasure on a trip.

At the end of the award period, the legislation requires organizations to report on their success in attracting those visitors. All funds are awarded on a reimbursement basis and will not be awarded until the Tourism Funding Expenditure Report Worksheet and the Tourism Funding Reimbursement Form are submitted.

History of City of Kirkland's Tourism Funding

Where does our tourism funding come from? The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 67.28.180 provides authority for cities to adopt a lodging tax. The City of Kirkland has adopted a 1 percent lodging tax rate and may invest these revenues into events or programs that attract visitors to Kirkland. The City’s Tourism Program has awarded funds to special events, festivals and programs that have demonstrated the ability to attract visitors from over 50 miles away and generate overnight stays, fulfilling the primary goal of the Tourism Program to support events and activities that showcase the City’s best assets while fostering a love of Kirkland that inspires our guests to come back time and time again. These overnight stays not only improve the tourist environment of Kirkland, they also contribute to the revenues sustaining the tourism program budget.

Kirkland’s Tourism Program has been in operation since 2002. During that time, over $1.2 million has been granted to tourism events and programs with $60,000 as the proposed annual funding to the program. These funds are awarded for the marketing or operations of special events and festivals designed to attract tourists to Kirkland. The TDC looks supportively at new events, events that promote diversity and inclusivity, while also giving serious consideration to events with proven track records for bringing visitors to the City. For questions, please contact the Tourism Program at


Questions: For questions or additional information, please contact Tourism Program staff at: