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Finally, Summer in the Park stats to be revealed this week

A Freedom of Information request was denied by the City, promising instead to publish the attendance numbers by Nov. 16

We'll know officially this week how many people went to Summer in the Park and how much money the event lost.

Acting on a November 16 Freedom of Information deadline, the City will be releasing the festival numbers this week.

John Severino, the Managing Director of Community Services, in an email to BayToday said, "A summary will be released Friday."

It comes on the last possible day, as citizen Kevin Ferris was denied the information after filing a Freedom of Information request in August asking for attendance numbers.

See: City blocks efforts to get Summer in the Park numbers

Ferris was denied, with City Clerk Karen McIsaac saying in a letter, that the denial was based on the City publishing the numbers within 90 days of his request.

There has been speculation that city staff are preparing an economic statement on the impact of the festival to go along with the release of the numbers in an effort to soften the hard actual figures. The summary numbers aren't expected to be pretty.

See: SITP loss expected to be six figures debate crowd hears

"It’s pretty disrespectful to the taxpayers for the city to drag this out for 90 days from the FOI submission when the Battalion had the attendance figures and disclosed them to the city immediately," said Ferris in response to the news. "This was all known well in advance of the election. There would appear to be a real issue with disclosure with our city hall."

See: City knew Summer in the Park figures Monday of the event. Big loss coming

"I guess we’ll wait several more weeks for the financial autopsy to see what the taxpayers are on the hook for," concluded Ferris. 

Councillor Mike Anthony had called for the number to be released before the municipal election so candidates could debate the future of the festival.

The volunteer organizing committee is expected to make its report to council on Dec. 4.

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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