SCUGOG: A plan for a music festival, at Port Perry’s fairgrounds to celebrate Canada’s 150th, took a step forward on Tuesday, February 21st, as Council has decided to extend the length of the event and to secure, in principle, a professional event coordinator.
At the special council meeting, Councillors went through the minutes of the Canada 150 Music Festival Advisory Committee’s February 15th meeting and made multiple decisions. One of those was to change the festival from a one day concert to a three day event. The event will now run from Friday, June 30th until Sunday, July 2nd.
“The fact is that the expense that is being incurred is for the three day event, so to not operate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday would be a true waste of taxpayers money,” Ward 3 Councillor Don Kett said.
Ward 5 Councillor Jennifer Back explained that the stage, speakers and the tent are booked for three days.
“Those will be there for the three days, and you wouldn’t want to have that unattended. You wouldn’t want to have liability to the township, if kids were up there destroying it, vandalizing or what not,” she said. “To have an event on the Saturday and the Sunday, you have many eyes there and obviously you wouldn’t have people just jumping on the stage and doing damage.”
However, Regional Councillor Bobbie Drew stated her concern with changing the length of the event.
“It seems to me there was a business case that showed that this Friday night event could be a profit making venture, and I don’t know what’s happened since then,” she said. “This is precisely why this should have been started well over a year ago, for an event of this nature. I think we would be better off just keeping it at the Friday night.”
Councillor Drew also expressed her concern about the possibility of the committee exceeding the $70,000 the Township allocated for the event.
“Now we have $70,000 invested in this. There’s quite a bit of money already for entertainment and if you’re hiring bands for Saturday, you’re going to be well over your $70,000,” she said.
Councillor Back responded, reiterating that it makes financial sense to extend the event.
“To appease Councillor Drew’s concerns of the $70,000 being paid back, it just makes fiscal sense to have two more days of gate ticketed revenue,” she said.
Council also approved a motion to secure, in principle, a professional event coordinator, with an upset limit of $15,000. The contract is subject to legal review and approval. The township is currently in negotiations with headline acts for the festival.