COG to change dates
Oct 28, 2013 / 4:56 pm
We should know very soon dates for the 2014 Center of Gravity and, as anticipated, the event will take place away from the August long weekend.
It is expected next year's event will be in July.
The date change is one of several recommendations agreed to by the City's Outdoor Events Committee and COG founder/Producer, Scott Emslie following feedback from a number of stakeholders, agencies, residents and businesses.
While admitting moving to a traditional weekend from a long weekend could hurt his bottom line, Emslie did agree for the longevity of Center of Gravity, it was a move that needed to be made.
Emslie says he is committed to addressing the concerns that have been raised, adding there are a lot of positives with COG and wants it to be here for a long time.
"I know the date is the big one right now and moving off the August long weekend will take a lot of pressure off with the additional people in town because of the holiday," says Emslie.
"I know there are a lot of people that aren't coming to the festival that are still in town on that weekend so I think if we move off the long weekend that will help out a lot. For me it is important to let people know we are here to work with the Outdoor Events Committee and we want this to be a positive event for Kelowna."
Sport and Event Development Manager, Don Backmeyer, says several concerns were raised from sheer volumes of people, noise and event patrons camping in streets and adjacent neighbourhoods, to damage to sports fields, increased demands on emergency resources and litter.
It was felt moving the event away from the long weekend, when the city is already busy with tourists, would help alleviate some of the concerns and would allow emergency resources to match crowd capacity.
Emslie also agreed changing the music focus to more live entertainment would help achieve a wider age range of festival participants.
Council spoke positively of the event and the changes, specifically the date change.
"The response I got for a lot of business people which you would think would be the biggest supporters was get it off the long weekend. They are already busy that weekend and you are multiplying that," says Councillor Andre Blanleil.
"I think your willingness to find ways to work with us is very positive and I think it is a good event. It has a huge impact on different businesses downtown - It's their busiest weekend of the year."
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