Spreading the joy

Penticton is looking to spread its events out more throughout the year.

In an update to council, the city’s new sports and events project manager Chad Douglas said while the city has a strong events calendar, it has some weak points.

“We need to shift into more arts and culture and active leisure events,” he said. “More midweek ... and off-peak events.”

He said the city needs to add to, and increase, the reach of local events in the off-peak season, and “inspire rave reviews” of peak-season events with national and global reach, like the Young Stars tournament.

One of the benefits of promoting more off-peak events, he said, would be to increase revenues for those events during the off season and to promote peak-season events.

Douglas added that more and better received events would attract more tourists who could eventually become residents.

“The more tourists we attract, many of those tourists will become residents. Many of those residents will become business owners,” he said. “Many of those business owners will come back and attend and sponsor the very events that attracted them here in the first place.”

Through that, he said Penticton could see greater prosperity.

He added that Penticton could benefit from seeing more events in late spring and early winter.

“We need more fun, low-cost events on our beaches during the shoulder seasons when other B.C. residents are still in jackets and students are still in school,” he said.

He said statistics support a shift toward more culture and leisure events for the city.

“Twice as many households in B.C. … attend and spend money on live performing arts as compared to sports, to live sport events,” he said, noting a similar statistic for active leisure events.

Asked by Coun. Tarik Sayeed why the city needs to take an active role in working with events, which often have their own boards of directors, Douglas said the events have more room to succeed when partnered with the city.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit added that the city can offer a safety net for events, which are often organized almost entirely by just a few people. He said putting so much responsibility in two or three people can be risky if someone gets sick or burned out.

“Some events just fizzle and go away because there’s no one there to help transfer the torch, so to speak.”


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