Tuesday, March 31st8.3°C
25757
25546

Shania Twain centre attracts debt

A tourist attraction celebrating country-pop singer Shania Twain has officially become a $10-million money pit of taxpayer dollars.

The Shania Twain Centre in this northern Ontario community permanently closes its doors today, barely a dozen years after its grand opening, and will be demolished to become part of an open-pit gold mine.

A sinkhole of taxpayer money, the centre consumed some $10 million in government funds for its construction in 2000-2001, and racked up more than $1 million in operating deficits in the years since.

Grant applications to the Ontario and federal governments in the 1990s projected annual attendance of 50,000 tourists by 2005.

Twain, now 47, grew up poor in Timmins, and got her fledgling start singing in local bars before striking it rich on the world stage in 1995.

But the sleek, modern structure, featuring displays of Twain memorabilia along with gold-mining artifacts, has drawn no more than 15,000 people in any year.

In the end, every resident of this hardscrabble, century-old mining town of 47,000 was shelling out $7 a year just to keep the lights on. And by 2010, each visitor to the centre was being subsidized to the tune of $33.72.

"We probably should have taken a better look at the numbers to ensure the expectations could be met," Mayor Tom Laughren said of the planning that happened long before he took office.

A 2011 financial analysis showed that Timmins city council faced continuing operating deficits of at least $233,000 a year no matter what future business plan it chose, whether expansion or scaling back.

So council last month announced a deal to sell the property to mining firm Goldcorp Inc. (TSX:G) for $5 million, just half of the tax dollars spent for construction.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

25608


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14902.44-5.95
S&P CDNX680.07-0.26
DJIA17776.12-200.19
Nasdaq4900.88-46.56
S&P 5002067.89-18.35
CDN Dollar0.7904+0.0016
Gold1187.90+4.80
Oil47.33-0.27
Lumber275.30-2.90
Natural Gas2.64+0.00

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.125+0.010
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.48-0.02
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.211-0.004
Metalex Ventures0.04+0.00
Russel Metals24.04-0.36
Copper Mountain Mining1.16-0.02
Colorado Resources0.11-0.01
ReliaBrand Inc0.0036-0.0024
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.25+0.02
Decisive Dividend Corporation1.80+0.02

 



25538

FEATURED Property
2227146House 133 - 2220 Shannon Ridge Drive
3 bedrooms 3 baths
$499,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Down payment

If you have less than 20% down payment, mortgage insurance is required through Canada Mortgage & Housing (CMHC), Genworth or Canada Guaranty. Homeowners no longer need the minimum 5% down payment ...


CRA Notice of Assessment

Many Canadians rush to file their taxes on time each year and don’t think about it until the next year. One of the most overlooked notices received from the CRA annually is the annual Notice of ...


Medical confidential?

If ICBC asks your doctor for your information you may wonder: Can ICBC ask my doctor for my medical information? Can ICBC request a medical report from my doctor without my consent? What is ICBC entit...

_



25482




Member of BC Press Council


25322