From: Darren D. MacDonald, thenorthbaybay.ca
NORTH BAY — Following the financial failure of the 2018 Summer in the Park, the city of North Bay is taking a new approach to Summer in the Park by not having one.
“Last year we saw the deficit end up being $432 036,” says City Councillor Tony Jericho. “That’s a lot of money.”
“While some think we need to spend less money, I think we just need more festivals!”
Jericho’s idea is a simple idea: instead of allocating the usual $80 000 for one festival during the summer “that will go over budget in every way,” Jericho suggests scrapping Summer in the Park and creating 365 festivals starting in 2020.
“The numbers add up. Every day will be a festival. Each festival will get a $219.17. That is plenty of money to put on a festival! It’ll be a nonstop party here in North Bay! We can have a Shadfly Festival, a Main Street Festival, a Local Music Festival.
“It’s even easier for holidays! Christmas Festival! Easter Festival! Day After Remembrance Day Festival. That’s like… 6 festivals, just off the top of my head. How many more days is that? Can’t be too many more.”
Mayor Al McDonald, who previously served as a head of the former North Bay Heritage Festival, said he believes that the city needs to start investing in other festivals “but the reality is the time has come to invest in and promote a variety of festivals and celebrations throughout the year, and how many more festivals do you want than 365 of them?”
Josh Redner, a very vocal activist for transparency in local government claims that the idea of 265 festivals is “a sham.”
“I did the math,” says Redner. “The budget is $80 000 a year, but each of the 365 festivals are getting $219.17. That leaves $2.95 unaccounted for!”
“Sure it seems small, but year after year it adds up. In 338 984 years the city will have stolen nearly $1,000,000, and I just can’t let that fly!”
While Jericho remains positive, he still has some problems.
“We might be doomed from the get-go. All of our numbers are based on 365 day years. But 2020 is a leap year. That will set us back. We can’t skip a day. We can’t skip the ‘Leap Year Festival,’ but I don’t know where that $219.17 is going to come from. Really, 2020 will make or break us.”
The new festival schedule will be drafted by July, and festivals will start on New Year’s Eve day with the “National Polar Bear Plunge Day” Festival.