COUNCIL UPDATE – April 12, 2016

On this night Council dealt with an initiative that Councillor Kim brought forward and has been working hard to bring to fruition – a multicultural festival. The staff report in front of us was for the festival to piggy-back with the Dance in the Park on June 30 and in essence combine the two events. In speaking to the staff report some members questioned why the event wouldn’t be held in the Magna Hoedown tent given that it would be available and has been made available for Town use. While I think that the option of using the Magna Hoedown tent might be a great option in the future, right now I don’t think it would be a good fit. This is a new festival that is still being planned so there is concern about attendance. The tent is very big, holding crowds in the thousands. While a crowd of a 100 or more people would be considered good for a new or first time event, in a tent that holds over 5000 it would look very empty.

While I believe we need to work to grow the event to a point where we can hold it in the tent, I believe you need to first start small and gain momentum . Then perhaps next year, when the event is much bigger, it can be brought into the tent. Perhaps an advisory committee or working group could be formed that can begin work this year for next years event. To hold a big event requires months of planning. For example, the annual Hoedown requires a full year with many dedicated people that do nothing but plan this event; that is why I feel a committee or working group could be a great benefit to the event moving forward.

In speaking to the staff recommendation re piggy backing the event with the Dance in the Park, the one negative that most members wanted to be addressed was the date. While it is great to piggy back on the one event, the Jun 30 dance in the park has always done very well as a stand alone event and there was concern about the potential negative impacts of mixing the two events together. Staff will be looking at starting the multicultural event earlier in the day as an separate event. Personally, I would prefer the alternative – holding the event on July 2nd, and there was agreement around the table about the alternate date; unfortunately that date might not be available.

I for one am looking forward to the Multicultural event and excited at the possibilities of growing this event, as was the recommendation from the Aurora 150 committee. I would like to Thank Councillor Kim for doing the work to bring this event forward. I will be looking forward to the staff report that will be coming back to Council…..More to come on this one..

The motion to hold the event at Town park passed on a recorded vote 6-3 (Councillor Abel, Kim, and Humfryes opposed)

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