Thursday, October 23rd9.1°C
23711
23778

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

23028


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14312.07-235.64
S&P CDNX808.00-14.28
DJIA16461.32-153.49
Nasdaq4382.847-36.632
S&P 5001927.11-14.17
CDN Dollar0.8891-0.0004
Gold1239.10-6.40
Oil80.41+0.28
Lumber330.40+1.70
Natural Gas3.649-0.01

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.12+0.02
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.15-0.02
Cantex0.055-0.025
Anavex Life Sciences0.198+0.006
Metalex Ventures0.05+0.005
Russel Metals32.53-0.56
Copper Mountain Mining2.10-0.07
Colorado Resources0.145-0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.013+0.001
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.05-0.01
Mission Ready Services0.405-0.055

 



22970

FEATURED Property
1786985386 Uplands Court, Kelowna, BC
10089124 bedrooms
$459,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Keep it rubber side down

This time of year, I always worry about which friends of mine will get caught going off the road in adverse weather conditions. With a little preparation most accidents can be avoided. Having won the...


Big bank predicts rate hike

Photo: Thinkstock.comThe end of record-low rates is nigh, according to one major bank, which has taken a stance and predicted when the Bank of Canada will raise its long-standing overnight rate. &ldq...


Experts share strategies in Kelowna

The third week in October is “Small Business Week”, a week dedicated to supporting local, small businesses. The week was designed to bring awareness to Canadians about the role small busin...

_








Member of BC Press Council


22632