Village plans July long

Fireworks in Valemount on Canada Day 2016. / EVAN MATTHEWS

by EVAN MATTHEWS

Though the party is still over seven months away, the Village of Valemount has started planning for Canada’s 150th birthday.

At the Jan. 24 Council meeting, Council approved Village staff to apply to the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) Initiatives Funds for the purpose of funding Canada 150 events during the July long weekend.

In 2016, the Village budgeted $1,200 for the July long weekend, but under the assumption that Valemount’s celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday would exceed the festivities of its 149th, the Village planned to review the line during budget discussions.

Staff is asking Council for permission to apply for up to $10,000 in grants, according to a report by Village’s Director of Finance, Lori McNee.

“How much cake will $10,000 buy?” Coun. Reimer asked, laughing.

Village staff is working with other local societies who are organizing events over the Canada Day weekend so cost-efficient ideas can be identified.

At the meeting, Councillor Peter Reimer questioned if $10,000 would be enough.

Councillor Hollie Blanchette re-enforced other local organizations are coming in to help, too, and it won’t just be the Village paying the tab.

Naho from Japan and Yogi from India took in celebrations at the Valemount sportsplex on Canada Day 2016

For comparison sake, the budget for Valemount’s 50th anniversary in 2012 was roughly $50,000, which was covered by a grant. It included a drive-in theatre, concert and party at the airport, among other things.
Mayor Jeannette Townsend said staff would have asked for more if $10,000 wasn’t enough.

“How much cake will $10,000 buy?” Coun. Reimer asked, laughing.

Councillor Sandy Salt chimed in, too, saying the festivities still have to go through the public process, and there is a possibility that maybe the public isn’t in favour of a grand celebration.

“It isn’t a done deal just yet,” says Salt.