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Councillor wants Summer in the Park financial numbers asap

"The community deserves some information to discuss during an election process. Even if it's not down to the penny, can we not just get a ballpark?"
20180804 summer in the park cd
Summer in the Park 2018. Chris Dawson/BayToday

Summer in the Park may have seen its worst numbers ever this year, but we won't know for sure until the City releases an attendance and financial report.

Councillor Mike Anthony wants it released as soon as possible to give candidates a chance to discuss the event's future as part of the election process.

"Voters deserve to know what this year's financial implications are," said Anthony. "And more importantly, candidates should be able to speak with somewhat accurate numbers (basic budget, expenses, and revenues) on what they believe should happen moving forward.

"Even if final, precise numbers are not available for a while, there simply must be a way to get a basic estimate on the festival finances before the end of September."

Those numbers would come from John Severino, the Managing Director of Community Services. BayToday reached out to Severino for comment this morning but received no reply.

"It's a transition year," Anthony explained. "Our first time with a new location, first time with tickets instead of wristbands, and we've probably had our lowest attendance per capita. So a lot of folks are saying 'What's the future of the festival? What's going on?' and people want to hear from the candidates. But can you form your thinking if you don't have the latest financial picture."

With tickets only available online, at the Battalion box office or City Hall, numbers should have been available soon after the event. In the past, wristbands were sold at multiple locations, making an accurate estimate, a lengthy process.

"The community deserves some information to discuss during an election process. Even if it's not down to the penny, can we not just get a ballpark?" said the councillor.

Financial details from last year took almost five months before they were made public in Dec. 2017, showing a $58,000 loss.

See: Summer in the Park loses over $58,000

This year was supposed to see a profit.

See: City predicting almost $11,000 surplus for this year's Summer in the Park

But that now appears to be a dream.

However, Anthony praised the organizers and volunteers who worked on the event.

"The community must thank the volunteer organizers for devoting time, energy, passion and sweat into the project. They stepped up to do something in North Bay. They deserve praise for their hard work."

One of those is co-chairman Thomas Brown.

"It didn't go well this year," Brown admitted, "It was pretty evident from the attendance."

Brown says he's undecided if he'll be back next year.

"It takes a lot of time away from my family and business. I don't know if it's worth it."

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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