The Strangford Assembly member said: “The Belfast Festival at Queens is vital both culturally and economically for Northern Ireland.
“The festival is invaluable in terms of cultural development and tourism. It is a big draw which not only attracts people to Belfast but also promotes the wider region.
“The festival attracted over 100,000 people to a wide range of events this year. To lose such a popular event would be a massive blow to the local economy and local tourism industry.
“It would be a real shame if the government could not provide the package of assistance needed to ensure that the Belfast Festival can continue in future.”
Kieran McCarthy concluded: “The festival only needs a relatively small amount of funding if we look at the wider economic picture. It would be disgraceful if the government let the Belfast Festival disappear.”