Newmarket’s Celebrates the Arts grants are keeping the arts scene alive and well for your enjoyment. The annual fundraising gala at Pickering College raised $35,000, with many applications received for grants. The Newmarket Jazz+ Festival organizers were honoured to be one of the recipients presented with a grant at this week’s council meeting. “We are thrilled beyond words,” festival founder Sher St. Kitts said. “The list is very long when we start looking at our expenses and every bit helps.” This new festival at Riverwalk Commons and Main Street Aug. 2 to 4 aims to encompass all the riches of Newmarket’s creative community. The funds received will be put toward entertainer costs and festival promotion. Ms St. Kitts is excited Newmarket realizes the value of the arts, artists and creativity, as she believes the arts are one true vehicle that can offer a return on investment, whether it be financial gain, economic growth or improved quality of life. “It is guaranteed to attract people to visit and live here,” she said. Five other recipients joined the jazz festival in the community grant category, including Community Living Newmarekt-Aurora District for its day support art program that provides people with an intellectual disability the opportunity to explore and express themselves through art.