Salmon fest results in loss for town
This year’s Salmon Festival has continued the losing ways of the three previous events.
© File photo
Three Days Grace were the headliners at the 2010 Exploits Valley Salmon Festival concert. Along with six other acts, the concert still lost over $130,000. Grand Falls-Windsor Mayor Al Hawkins said he can see changes to the festival in the near future.
What’s to come?
Mayor Hawkins said Deputy Mayor Anne Blackmore will be chairing the 2011 Exploits Valley Salmon Festival committee. He added the committee is going to have to look closely at the event and how they are going to structure it.
He said getting details about the economic spinoff is also important in evaluating and analyzing the festival.
“Even this year, it was the largest outdoor concert, even though our numbers were down,” Mayor Hawkins said. “We have to start looking at how much longer can we continue to incur deficits like this particular year we’ve had.”
He added the council has already started to collect some numbers, for example, last year $35,000 was put back in wages for people working the concert, and another $30,000-$40,000 went into marketing and advertising.
“That basically goes into the local economy,” he said. “There is a lot of this money that goes back into the economy. So I guess in the end, we have to be able to determine whether that type of investment is getting a good return. If it’s not getting a good return, then obviously we’ve got to look at other options.”
He added he will be very surprised if there are no changes to next year’s festival, but he does not see the festival ending.
“Right now it is just too early to determine exactly what type of event we’ll have,” he said. “The Salmon Festival runs from Thursday to Monday and the concert is one of the events. That’s an area that we’re going to have to look at and I guess probably make some tough decisions on how to go about that.”
expenditures coming in at $536,915, resulting in a net expense of $126,203. “The last number of years there have been more expenses incurred than revenue, which some people call a loss, some people call it an expense, but the bottom line is whichever way you look at it, whichever way you cut the cloth, it is still a deficit.” Grand Falls-Windsor Mayor Al Hawkins
Mayor Hawkins said he has heard people say the concert needs bigger acts, and though it would cost more money, they could come anyway.
“That might be true, I am not too sure it is,” Mayor Hawkins said. “How much risk are you willing to take?”
He said this year, the new council decided to cut $100,000 off of the budget when it came to performers.
“The question becomes because you cut that $100,000, did you have less entertainment than you should have had or whatever,” Mayor Hawkins said. “These are questions that we have to answer and we will do that.
“It is what it is and we’ll face it head on.”
Mayor Hawkins said it will all come down to the evaluation, which the council will be working on.
“We’ll determine what we feel is in the best interest of the town and how we want to promote the town,” he said. “Obviously, you are going to be criticized if you have a deficit, and nobody really says a whole lot when you have a surplus. That goes with the territory. You have to take the good with the bad and, hopefully, when you make decisions that they are in the best interest of what we want to achieve with this particular event.”
Mayor Hawkins added he still believes the festival is a good event and there are a lot of positive things to get from it.
“But we have to find a way to minimize the risk and maximize our returns on the concert,” he said. “Hopefully be able to find a happy medium there and that way we can minimize some of our risks and maximize on the event.”