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Summer in the Park loses over $58,000

Chamber of Commerce drops out. New location being considered.
marianas trench sitp turl 2017
Marianas Trench headlined Summer in the Park festival. Photo by Jeff Turl.

A report to council says Summer in the Park lost $58,338 this year.

The report will be presented at Council's regular meeting tomorrow night and recommends that Council acknowledge "that future surpluses realized by the Summer in the Park Festival will be used to offset the deficits accumulated of the festival. Once the deficit is paid off the Committee will be able to rebuild its reserves."

The new deficit puts the committee $184,899 in the hole.

The Summer in the Park Festival is a joint effort between the Chamber of Commerce and the City of North Bay.

The Chamber provides board members to assist with the coordination and planning of Summer in the Park, the application for grant funds, assistance in the recruitment of volunteers, onsite coordination of the event and the canvassing of Chamber members to support the festival.

Other highlights of the report:

  • Discovery North Bay Museum also benefited enjoying their largest grossing weekend of the year.
  • The 2017 festival provided two days of concerts requiring wristbands with all daytime activities remaining free to the public.
  • It is estimated that over 43,500 people attended the festival over the course of the weekend. This estimation included the concerts, beach volleyball, daytime activities and the midway.
  • Based from online sales 54.87% were from out-of-town.
  • A further breakdown revealed that 0.94% were from out-of-province including Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec and 1.09% from out-of-country coming from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, New York, Maryland, California and Tennessee. We even had people attend from as far as the United Kingdom.
  • A total of 4,100 wristbands (2016 - 6,568) were sold this year. Historically, there has been a correlation with SITP wristband sales and weather. The committee feels the cause of the decrease in wristbands sales was the poor long range weather and short term forecast leading up to the festival. It is during the time period immediately prior leading up to the weekend that many last minute wristbands are purchased. A very cold and rainy Friday and Saturday negatively affected SITP’s gate sales. 
  • The North Bay Chamber of Commerce has recently informed the City it will no longer be a member of the organizing committee. The place of the Chamber representatives at the organizing committee has been filled by young local professionals, two of which sat as Chamber representatives in 2017. It is the committee’s intent to move forward as planned for the 2018 Summer in the Park Festival with some modifications to the programming and a new potential location that will reduce weather risk and overall staging costs of the festival. Details are being finalized by the committee.
  • The Committee organized two nights of concerts on the Main Stage at the Community Waterfront Park. A total of 4,100 wristbands were sold generating revenues of $147,307.
  • Headliners Marianas Trench and Amanda Marshall were the headliners with supporting acts that included MAGIC!, Headstones, Michelle Treacy, Darenots and two other opening bands.
  • Due to the 2012 cancellation of the headliner, Meat Loaf, and the 2013 cancellation of the headliner Metric, the Committee made the decision to purchase cancellation insurance for this year’s concerts. In the event of severe weather, the insurance policy provided coverage for cancellation of either headliner, Marianas Trench or Amanda Marshall. Although the weather was not favorable the Committee did not have to cancel any shows; therefore, the cancellation insurance was not used.
  • After tax, revenues from the Beer Garden totaled $29,588. After associated expenses of $17,566 from the operation of the Beer Garden were deducted the Davedi Club was paid 40% of the net revenue ($4,809). The decrease in revenue from previous years was attributed to the cold and rainy weather which had a significant impact on the festival’s target revenues.
  • North Bay hotels reported a 96.1% occupancy rate on Friday August 4 th, which was up from last year’s 93.8% and 97.9 % occupancy rate on Saturday August 5 th, also up from last year’s 95.8%
  • The Summer in the Park Festival supports as many local businesses as possible for all of its festival needs. This year the festival spent over $217,000 of the event budget supporting local businesses. This included tenting, port-a-johns, electrical, equipment rentals, stage, sound & lighting, accommodations, catering, marketing and security. The festival employs one full-time summer student as well as contracting many local individuals for various festival needs that include security, stage technicians, loaders, electrical support, etc.
  • SITP generated $447,984 in revenue and incurred $506,322 in expenses. The financial results include the City’s $80,000 financial contribution.
  • The event received a total of $52,162 from one funding program that being Celebrate Ontario.
  • Revenue from World’s Finest Shows Midway to SITP 2017 was $40,271. This is a 17.57% decrease over 2016 ($48,855) which makes a significant impact on our revenue target. This was due to poor weather during the 5 day duration the midway was in town. Historically revenue from the Midway has ranged from $44,591 to $50,078.
  • For the eighth consecutive year Cogeco Cable was the title sponsor for the festival contributing a total of $15,000 in cash sponsorship and over $15,000 of in-kind media. Cogeco has committed to be the title sponsor for 2018. The community supported this year’s festival with cash sponsorships totaling $63,501. In-kind donations were estimated at $127,498. In-kind donations included hotel rooms, media, catering, transportation for bands, rental equipment and other items.

Leadership continues to be a problem. Last year's committee didn't have a chairman and the job of spokesman fell to Charles Elliott. He told BayToday he's retiring from the committee after five years. 

In 2016 Council made a three year commitment of $80,000/year. Any net surpluses from Summer in the Park are held in an event reserve. The purpose of the reserve account is to offset annual unfunded portions of the event.

The reserve is currently in a deficit position of $(126,511) prior to the transfer of the 2017 festival result. Future surpluses realized by the Summer in the Park festival will be used to offset the deficit balance. The 2017 deficit of $58,388 will be applied to the reserve balance.

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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