Cornwall ON – The Lift Off Festival is going to City Council today; hat in hand, looking for $30K in loans. It’s going to put some interesting pressure on council, but in the end I’d be sadly disappointed if these dollars are advanced. There is no financial device that makes sense to such a loan; especially in an environment where businesses are closing and struggling and hundreds of local workers are losing their jobs. There are no city loans for these people.
Lift Off founder and our former contractor Chris Savard stepped down as President this year to be replaced by Chamber of Commerce honcho Rick Shaver.
Mr. Shaver recently stepped down as President as well from Lift-Off . From my last communications with the Lift Off team, who weren’t being very direct or clear, there’s a group effort going on now?
Last year Lift Off received in excess of $75K from the province. This year that number has been reduced to a third. They also lost $5K from the Cornwall Downtown DBIA. Obviously there are some issues with the way this event is being managed by the close knit group doing so.
To me it’s about accountability and the role that any event or service does to this community. Last year we were one of the media sponsors of the event and I can tell you that we were quite disappointed. Not in the vision or potential for the event, but because of the way it was run.
I can tell you that as someone that’s ran over 200 events in my life you always treat your sponsors like gold, because they are. To show drastic favoritism to any one generally does not lead to positive results. Also you always have to remember your client, your customer; the person that pays for your product or service. You have to have a vision for what you’re trying to accomplish and use every tool at your disposal to make those goals come true.
I think the issue is that in some places it’s the same people always in charge of the same things. That can get stale and when you only work with your friends, with your “clique” generally there’s nobody to stop and tell you that maybe things can be done better. It’s not unique to Cornwall or Lift Off. It happens in many places; usually because nobody wants to do the unglamorous jobs and draft their friends in to help.
I personally have great hopes for the future of Lift Off, but I certainly hope that Mayor Kilger and City council do not write a cheque for $30K.
No, I think Lift Off this year needs to reorganize; throw as good a party as it can with their budget and come back to the public next year with a new team focused on making this event the success it truly should be.
Maybe some of those companies like Corus who received so much for so little last year can pony up a loan instead of the taxpayers of Cornwall?
What do you think Cornwall? You can post your comments below.