Some concerned Founders Days may be jeopardy
Some are concerned that popular events like Shelburne's Founders Days will be affected if an events coordinator isn't hired.
By Greg Bennett
The Town of Shelburne will consider going on its own to hire an events coordinator this year after a proposal to jointly fund a position was torpedoed by the Municipality of Shelburne.
The Town will have a special meeting on Monday, Feb. 17 to discuss the matter.
“I think it’s an important enough issue to have a special meeting,” said Councillor Roy O’Donnell. “The reality is we may have to go it alone …these things should all be discussed.”
There is some urgency to the issue, as planning for some events and festivals this summer, particularly Founders’ Days, is weeks behind schedule.
Some councillors balked at the $45,000 price tag attached to the proposal though, noting that there were no guarantees that the employee could be hired out to work on festivals for the Town of Lockeport or the Municipality of Shelburne.
“That’s a big chunk of money,” offered councillor Tony Mahaney. “…I know we need it; but can we afford it?”
CAO Dylan Heide noted that much of the town’s economic development officer’s time was taken up with festivals and events planning. He said an events coordinator could ease that burden and also be a champion for the burgeoning cruise ship visits to the area, among other things.
The Municipality of Shelburne last month voted against hosting a joint tourism coordinator position with the towns of Lockeport and Shelburne.
Municipal CAO Kirk Cox said at the time that his council would be conducting a review of what the industry needs in the area and look for marketing and product development opportunities.”
The municipality would have been footing 54 percent of the $50,000 budget. The Town of Shelburne would have shared 32 percent and the Town of Lockeport, 13 percent.
The municipality notified the town last year that they will no longer manage Founder’s Days and that the responsibility will now rest on the town.