Predatory Radio Practices Deflating Local Events in Cornwall Ontario From Canada Day to Lift Off – June 30, 2011

Cornwall ON – Apparently our MP, Guy Lauzon upset a radio station this week and made one happy.

Mr. Lauzon seems to be the controller of the Canada Day festivities in Cornwall and radio station manager Mike Guimond received a phone call from Mr. Lauzon personally stating that his station was not welcome to set up in the park as they did last year for this year’s festivities.

We sent emails to both Mr. Lauzon and his executive assistant asking for comment before publication.

If Mr. Lauzon or his offices wish to reply or respond to this we’re happy to publish after as well.

Mr. Guimond sent in the following for publication and we are posting it unedited and in its entirety.

Last year Mix 96.1 and 101.5 The Fox were thrilled to be invited to help celebrate Canada Day in Cornwall by Dave Runions. (Great guy!). As a service to the community, and free of charge, we promoted the Canada Day events and broadcast live on both stations from our booth near the stage in Lamoureux Park.

It was a great day filled with great local entertainment. We called Dave to do the same thing again this year…and no problem. Promos go to air, web promos up (again all free of charge).

Then I get a call from Guy Lauzon. He informs me that the Canada Day committee has signed an exclusive deal with Corus and they don’t want any competitors on site.   Sorry, maybe next year. (Sounds like CBC Ottawa…but wait…this is Cornwall.) He should have filled poor Dave Runions in on that one. Dave does so much work for this event lining up the great local entertainment (and kudos on a great job) one would think he would be privy to any exclusive vendor agreements. But we aren’t vending anything.

Just trying to promote this great community event and keep people in Cornwall. (I remember last year all the lanes of traffic heading into the US were full and backed up on to the bridge. But I digress.) I thought Canada Day was about celebrating Canada’s birthday. And the ideals of patriotism, heritage and freedom. Seems its more about exclusive agreements.

With all due respect to Corus and Mr. Lauzon, what is Corus so afraid of anyway? And why hide behind exclusive contracts for community events? If anything, perhaps last year was a wake up call for Corus. And by the way, where was Corus last year? Oh that’s right they didn’t show up to the Canada Day Celebration. Our stations are here to stay…we’re not going anywhere, and we thank our thousands of listeners and fans we have in Cornwall and SD&G for tuning in. Happy Canada Day! Be safe!

Oh, and by the way…Mix 96.1 and 101.5 The Fox will be live from Canada Day, in a safe legal spot!

This is not a unique situation apparently.   Going back to when Scott Armstrong was the head honcho of the Corus stations in Cornwall predatory practices have been the norm with several area events granting exclusivity even while in many cases still paying for advertising.

In 2010 we ourselves were sponsors of the Lift Off and this year; after founder and president Chris Savard resigned, and then his successor Rick Shaver shortly resigned thereafter, we received this answer from Candy Pollard from the Lift Off team.

Hi Jamie
as you know Corus has exclusivity
I am not involved in the sponsorship sales
you would have to discuss that with Judi Auger
who is our Chair
Candy Pollard

That being a bit of an odd response as I was especially directed to Ms Pollard by Jason Jesmer.

That’s business, that’s fine in a way; but when the events are supported by public monies with the purpose to promote our community does it make sense?    Lift Off being the perfect example.   In 2010 Lift Off received about $75,000 from the Ontario government alone; nearly as much from the City of Cornwall in kind and services as well as some of it in cash.  They received monies from the DBIA; Akwesasne, and other locations, but were in the middle of a three year exclusive contract granted by the Lift Off board which has Rob Seguin, a Corus employee on its rolls.

Lift Off is the keystone event for this city of nearly 50,000 people.  It’s a non-profit corporation.  While Lift Off’s origins were organic and it’s been a tremendous success at some point organizations grow past being able to be run on the back of a few people that throw bones to their employers and friends surely?

Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off is a not-for-profit organization and is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, consisting of 19 community leaders. Our goal is to see the festival annually break even and should there ever be any operating surpluses, these dollars will be invested into the following year’s festival.

The more dollars we raise…the higher caliber event we can deliver!  (from Lift Off website)

And surely the main goal is to attract positive attention to the city and the event and what better way to do that than have all of the area and regional media lend their special skills and talents to help promote the event and our wonderful city?

From Frank Holiday:

94.7 Hits & Wild Country 96.5 would welcome an opportunity to work as one of many radio partners with Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off. With Wild Country 96.5’s over 32,000 Canadian listeners,(over 7,600 in Cornwall) and the power and reach of 94.7 Hits, Cornwall’s #1 station for 12-17, 18-34, and 18-49 year olds…Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off could be taken to a whole new level as we invite our over 280,000 weekly listeners to come and join the festivities in our beautiful city.

Again; I’m not attacking Corus or Lift Off.   I am asking why decisions are made regarding certain aspects of how things are done at times as have many others who were interviewed for this story.    Our site draws in over 50,000 viewers per month with Ottawa being our number one city.   We’re also the only Cornwall area media that does TV quality commercials produced in house even.  Surely an export event would benefit from our support and sponsorship as well?

I spoke with the organizers of the Corn Stalk event a few years back who were told to drop one of their radio sponsors and go exclusive with Corus and still would have to pay for advertising.

Winterfest, Waterfest; again more of the same practice.

Andre Rivette was very clear about his position as the Lift Off board via city management requested and were given a $30,000 interest free and unsecured loan by the city for this years event and a special meeting of council was created where city council voted near unanimously even though the books of Lift Off were not opened or examined.   Again, would this be available to other groups that wanted to do things in Cornwall?

Elaine MacDonald explained to me that she would still vote to give Lift Off the funds because of its marketing importance to the city.   Maybe it’s simply time for the city to consider that if Lift Off is that important to Cornwall and region and if they are going to invest as much money as they do that some sort of management team be in place and perimeters be in place as well to focus on the goal of promoting the city and the event so that it draws in the most people possible in a positive manner?

Right now Lift Off seems to be an event about promoting Corus radio and its local stations in Cornwall. Again, that’s fine as long as Corus writes the cheque.   The fest only features bands that are of the same radio format as its stations?  (LIFT OFF SCHEDULE LINK ) Would not Country Music, Jazz, Blues, Hip Hop, and other formats not pull in people?    And can a festival grow with acts like Kim Mitchell and Collective Soul being paid thousands to attract people while Jazz fests go on in Montreal and Ottawa?     The Tragically Hip from Kingston play Water Town NY; why not Cornwall?   Willie Nelson plays Burlington Vermont; why not Cornwall?

Amanda Marshall?

And Lift Off is an opportunity to support local bands.   As of this writing there is no mention of any on the Lift Off Site.  There are over 12 references to Corus brands on the schedule page including this notice:

Surely if people wanted updates on Lift Off there should be a multitude of options including the Lift Off website which for the most part still hasn’t been updated with less than three weeks to go to show time?   Again, for a community that is focusing on Arts and Culture for its future and spent thousands of dollars on a report that recommends the creation of an Arts Council and Arts Centre this event would be a prime opportunity to help local bands get exposure on the backs of those that came to see  Kim Mitchell and Collective Soul?

One band sent in the following that they received from Rob Seguin of Corus radio who’s in charge of the music for Lift Off and whose own band, Rub Salt,  seems to play the event nearly every year.

Hey guys,

One of the approved acts may be backing out. This would leave a spot for one of the three bands (including yours) on our stand-by list. Here’s the deal. None of our local opening acts are being financially compensated. Each has agreed to donate their 45 minute performance to the festival. Each band member and a guest will get a weekend pass to the festival. Please let me know by Monday at noon if you’re interested. We will then determine who gets the vacant slot via ballot. Thanks. Rob.

So last year the Province kicked in $75K and we couldn’t afford to give a local band $750?

I sent in requests for comment to many city officials; but have yet not been given any comment “on the record” other than by Councilor Andre Rivette.     I also sent in requests to most of the Lift Off team.  The current Chair; Judi Auger sent in the following:

Hi Jamie,
There is a two part answer to this 2 part question. Corus DOES NOT have exclusivity to all media output. We have for many years had a relationship with Le Journal, Seaway News, the Standard Freeholder, Cogeco Cable and others from time to time and continue to do so. CKON is another media outlet who regularly broadcast news and information about the Lift-Off Festival activities and offer listeners promotional contests and prizes. The affiliated papers of the above sponsors are sent press releases so they can inform readers in all our surrounding areas regarding the bands, balloon rides and other weekend events.
Our goal is to co-operate with media to ensure Cornwall has a successful Festival and to encourage out of out of towners to visit our city and support our local hotels, restaurants and retailers. It also is a highlight for thousands of our local residents throughout S.D & G.


You also have been sent information about the festival and have been invited to interview Collective Soul.


Kinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off does have a partnership with Corus Entertainment who has offered unprecedented support to this festival since its inception. Over the past five years alone, Corus Entertainment has provided the festival with over a half million dollars of in-kind marketing support and thousands more in cash donations. The specific details of our agreements with any of our sponsors and community partners are strictly confidential.Secondly, Corus Radio does not receiving funding of any sort from any level of Government. On the other hand Corus Entertainment pays millions of dollars to the Government and Government regulated bodies for broadcasting licenses, SOCAN and FACTOR fees, etc.


Corus Entertainment does not receiving funding of any kind from the community. All revenues are generated via paid advertising. With that said, in 2010 Corus Entertainment’s Cornwall brands contributed more than $925,000.00 in charitable donations to Cornwall and area including cash donations and in-kind marketing and support services. Corus Entertainment gives back to our community.


Thank you for this opportunity to reply to your questions.


Best regards,


Judi AugerKinsmen Cornwall Lift-Off 2011 – Board Chair


There was a children’s story by Hans Christian Anderson about the Emperor not wearing any clothes.   I think it’s time; especially as we start to focus on Arts and Culture in the area that we reconsider how we do things at various levels if our goals are to help build and grow our community.     I think it’s time that those that sit on boards like Lift-Off and vote for giving exclusivity to any single company without truly being compensated maybe find something else to do with their time?

As someone that has worked in events I also would seek exclusivity for the company I worked with.  We generally had to pay a fee for this as the events had to balance the loss of broad support vs that of a single sponsor.  For the Lift Off board to go hat in hand to borrow money from the City of Cornwall; who have already given so much; means that decisions were made by its board that led to less funding and support and much of that lack of support stems from alienating people by these types of exclusive decisions.

The DBIA in Cornwall pulled its financial support of Lift Off.   I spoke with one beer company that said it’d offered more than Lift Off has currently been receiving and has been rebuffed numerous times as well.

Lift Off will survive.  It is the keystone event for this city and a tribute to the spirit that helped built it and support it.  It has hundreds of  volunteers that put in tons of hours to make it the show piece that it is.      And from what I’m hearing things are going to change and hopefully for the positive and that the people that voted to give such a contract that favored a company over the community will not be back.

Cornwall is a great city with wonderful opportunities for growth.  We just need to change our “culture” and some of the practices and start truly working together to make things even better than they are.   Hopefully next year’s Lift Off with hopefully some new blood on the board of the Non-Profit Corporation that runs it embraces that challenge and reaches new heights.

Should an event that takes public monies grant exclusivity to any media company?

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  1. Re: stories about puppies. I meant born again puppies, all the other ones will go to hell.

  2. Offended & Shocked: Que sera sera.
    John Daurgth: We wouldn’t do business with you either. Nuts are nuts!

  3. This is supposed to be the event of the year and our talented performing artists are not paid a dime. Come on…what is wrong with this picture? People are paying admission to this event, I would like to see these talented individuals paid for their efforts. Would the Mayor do his job if he wasn/t paid? Would Council Members? Would the Chief of Police?

  4. Author

    I truly am amazed at the traffic and response to this story. I know it’s reverberated and am glad to see this happen. I’ve been asked a lot of questions about what I’d like to see happen to Lift Off and I think that not much needs to change. We need to make sure that those that supported giving Corus the three year exclusive contract are removed from the board. We need some new blood pumped in that isn’t best friends with those that remain.

    I think the mission statement has to be in stone if it’s going to get public tax dollars. IE Lift Off is an amazing festival to celebrate Cornwall and the area and attract new people to visit and perhaps even consider moving to our fair city. That being said those that are to be on the board of this non-profit corporation have to live up to the mission statement and with each decision; with each contract and relationship remember that. I’d like to hear about Lift Off all through the year and I’d like to see Lift Off promote, support, and nurture local music talent. That doesn’t mean put up a bad artist just because they’re local. To me that means searching for the best talent we have in the area and booking them into the event and when doing so promoting them just as much as the rest of the acts on the bill for that day. I’d even go as far to say that we could have a second stage or area like they had on Canada Day and have that sponsored and featured for local talent.

    There’s so much that Lift Off can be. It just takes people working together and building something that truly can earn the term; Attraction.

  5. If they are getting public money then let them show us where the money is going! You can’t hide behind the “Old Boyz Club” forever you know.

  6. Hi Everyone,

    I normally take critism of my company lightly because many people in Cornwall think it is easy to run a business but honestly most couldn’t even begin to imagine what kind of work it takes to employ 46 people and produce enough profits to support a payroll of $1,250,000 and that doesn’t even touch my advertising, Overhead and Donations to the Community!

    John Daugth probably doesn’t exist and the name probably belongs to someone from a rival faction and I won’t speculate who; but probably from those same people that will have you beleive that Cornwall is growing despite its increase of almost 10% in welfare and ODSP reciepients and that people outsided of Cornwall think we are doing a great job!

    Truth is I own a store in Rockland and people still think Cornwall stinks and can not keep meaningful employers. Since, we have one of the lowest number of university graduates in the province …I agree to a certain extent!! I don’t think we are lower class or stupid but I do think we can do a better job of offering University programs to our Citizens and recruitng University Grads!!

    To the Critics that calls themselves “John Daurgth” and “Offended and Shocked”, you are or would be EXTREMELY INCOMPETENT business people! The CFN news is priced fairly and these types of articles bring in hundreds or even thousands of viewers and having your name or marketing message placed beside it is GOOD for BUSINESS! Exposure is so important to any companies marketing campaign!

    How often have you skimmed through a boring newspaper article (missing the ads) or changed the radio channnel because of lacklustre song (missing the ads)???? People are reading and writing and they can click on the ads and visit the clients web-site very easily!

    I think you do not use your names because you have personal ties to a certain individual or company and now have gone from disliking an article to becoming completely irrational and offensive yourselves!

    If you would like to know why I use marketing outlets such as Jamie’s CALL ME and USE your REAL name! When negative comments against companies such as Gault Chiropractic, KAV Productions, Pommier Jewellers and Laura’s Flowers are used I will always defend our local businesses and to NOT USE YOUR REAL NAME….I can only think of ONE WORD…..P@#$Y or more politically correct COWARD!

    If you want to talk to discuss my professional decisions call me directly – Mike Bedard @613-935-9429 (home) or call 613-577-8503 (CELL); and I will gladly let you know first hand what I think of your comments about my business ethics and how I am greatly disappointed with your insults and comments about my company and the 46 families it supports!!!

    Mike Bedard
    (Did You Notice I used my Real Name)

  7. it is also sad that you took away David Runions reply – are you scared of the truth or do you just like things the way you want to hear them?

  8. Author

    Hi Dean,

    Welcome to the Cornwall Free News. David’s posts are still there. If you go to the end of the current comments page you’ll see a link to “Older Comments”

    Thanks for not being judgmental 😉

  9. To Mike Bedard.. Well Said..
    To Offended and Shocked, You are a walking contradiction. Quote ” Your site has been offending me about two hours a day for several years.” If you are really SHOCKED and OFFENDED why would you continually read daily for years ?. Admin has been doing something right to keep you tuning daily and if he has done that then you have proved to his advertisers that this website works.. Shocking and Offending has worked for Howard Stern, it made him a household name and I don’t think he is hurting for cash either..

  10. One thing I Love about Cornwall, and yes i did seek aproval from the city to play my drums. I go for a coffee in the park and i tune my drums and practice a bit. 95% of the people enjoy my little medleys. Mostly the retired age group feels the peace and tranquility that everything is wonderfull. The park is beautiful and i keep bad people out, bad does not know how to deal with the nice long hair hippy smiling playing beautiful music. If the music got out of hand, i would go play with them and make sure they are playing good music. I can say i am an artist who has played with very talented musician that are still unknown. Art as an Expression to exist must exist for pleasure, once the mighty dollar is trown in most artists lose themselves.

  11. Much of the commentary on this story shows the real lack of understanding most readers of this site have of how the world really works.

    Despite grade school whinings of how everything should be “more fair,” we all tend to want to do business with people we know and trust. When you shop do you patronize a different store each time to “fairly” spread your money around? No, you shop where you feel you’re getting the best value. Whether a private business or a public festival, we employ those we can rely on to get the job done. Imagine the outcry if incompetents, who appeared to have impeccable credentials, botched the job and embezzled millions were hired – would you accept “we hired that guy cause it was the fair thing to do” as a defense? Based on your derision of those practices, the whole world is an “old boys club,” including each and every one of you.

    Another reality is that to get the best people you need to compensate them. Even in volunteerism. This website is a prime example of how many people you can get to come out and tell other people how things should be done. To get the people who will invest sweat equity in something you need to offer a perk – free lunch, ribbon, tickets, a spot for your band, whatever. Savvy organizers understand this. Those who don’t have the stomach for it are idiots who run good festivals into the ground.

    As for Corus – they’re a business. Businesses make money for their investors. It’s called Capitalism. It is what our entire economy is based on. Granted, thanks to government intervention and regulation, they do have a somewhat protected and coddled industry in this country, but they are still forced to compete for listeners. In radio you do that by playing the songs people want to hear, otherwise they change the station. Do you listen to songs on the radio you don’t like cause it’s “fair?” If you owned a radio station would you play what was “fair” while advertisers flocked to other stations with larger ratings and you lost all your investment? As an advertiser would you waste your ad dollars on a radio station no one listened to cause they were “fair” and played local bands?

    “Fair” is the cry of those not willing to work hard enough in this world. They expect their whining to level the playing field for them. Proof? You’re here whining about what’s “unfair” expecting those treating you unfairly to have an epiphany and change things for you.

    It works in grade school, but not in the real world. It has held Cornwall back for decades.

    If you want to be involved, get your hands dirty. Do the work to prove your worth.

  12. @ Craig Michaels. If Lift Off was a private business with stock holders to be responsible to I would agree with you. But it’s not. It is a social event designed to entertain the citizens of the area and to create some economincal benefit. It is publically funded and should provide some financial benefit to the public which includes local businesses and local bands.

    We, the tax payers, are paying for Lift Off through our taxes on all levels and we expect “FAIR”. If the current organizers can’t figure that out then maybe someone else should run the show.

  13. Perhaps Corus, since they have their all wanted exclusivity, should pay back all that 30000 loan that was taken from the taxpayer for this! Then as far as I’m concerned there should be no question about their exclusivity agreement. You want exclusivity, you pay for it in its entirety! Not off the backs of taxpayers!

  14. @Craig Michaels – I believe if you take the time to read all the posts here you will see that there are several instances of people trying to offer their help to the various organizations. I personally have offered my hand at helping out Lift Off many years ago and asking nothing in return, including removing my band from the ballot. There are good people out there, you just need to be open to it….

  15. To Mr. Michaels: Since you are taking of the mantle of the Corporate Hitman/ Pitbull, whatever, I’ll address, or try to address some of the points you make. First off, love the ‘tude, and the complete lack of irony in not seeing how your comments betray just how much you look down on us ‘ little folk’. I could go on , but let’s address some points, shall we?

    1) ‘ Corus is a business. They make money for their investors’ – absolutely true, no denying that. The Music Business, and the Business Of Music should never be confused. However, this should also extend to any events that said business attach their names to , and not reward said volunteers for their work by in advantages, giving up prime spots for said volunteers to play. There’s another word for that: Payola. Or, perhaps, Conflict Of Interest? So, To be ‘ Fair’ ( ooops, there’s that word again) Said person should recognize said conflict and not take advantage. Now, I’m not 100% sure about this one, so, apologies if I’m wrong, but, I sample the local product 8 hours a day at work, simply because it is what it is: Audio Wallpaper. I love how the music is treated as filler between ads, inane talk, and endless repeats of the same songs. This may be what works in your ‘ business Model’ of what a radio station is, great if does. All I know This is idea is slowly but surely killing radio as we know it, and as people discover more musical options out there ( Satellite , Online, etc) where they can get exactly what they want….I think your ‘ Capitalistic Model’ is due for a shakeup. Ask the record companies about that one. They all laughed when Napster first showed up…bet they ain’t laughing too much now…

    ‘ Fair is the cry of those not willing to work hard enough in this world’….Hmm. Let’s see. I’ve been playing music for 35 years, and in that time, have never ONCE asked a city council for a loan, Brow beat someone into a 3 year exclusivity contract where only any of the bands I’ve played with could appear, have slept in some pretty dingy circumstances, dodged beer bottles ( and have the sutures in my head for the ones that hit) Played 4 to 5 hours after working a regular 8 hour day, missed important events in my life due to playing commitments, Spent an ungodly amount of my own money on my gear – and for what? The only thing that really matters. To play for the love of the music. Yeah Yeah, I know that sounds corny – .us ‘ little people’ can be overly sentimental sometimes. Add that to the long travel, setups, playing, tear downs, Time for rehearsing and practice, I think I can honestly say that I’ve worked just as hard at my craft as anyone else involved in the ‘ Music Business’ at this level. We don’t get paid to play. We get paid to move gear.

    “Another reality is that to get the best people you need to compensate them. Even in volunteerism. This website is a prime example of how many people you can get to come out and tell other people how things should be done. To get the people who will invest sweat equity in something you need to offer a perk – free lunch, ribbon, tickets, a spot for your band, whatever. Savvy organizers understand this. Those who don’t have the stomach for it are idiots who run good festivals into the ground.’

    So, what you’re saying, Craig, is that to run a local festival, you have to…I dunno, what’s the word I’m looking for….BRIBE people into it ? I guess then, Craig, that the people who run those Penny Ante Jazz And Blues Festivals in Montreal and Ottawa are all Idiots, because when I was in Montreal a couple weeks ago watching all the local musicians of every stripe , as well as the other street entertainers, wondering; Why can’t we get the variety here? Oh yeah, that’s right. I should just LISTEN TO MY BETTERS and never bother offering a suggestion because I’ll just get a patronizing pat on the head and sent off to the pasture with the rest of the rubes… I wholeheartedly agree that to put on a festival, ‘ Sweat Equity’ must be paid, and it takes a lot of work, most of it thankless, to put on said show. How’s this for ‘ Sweat Equity’? I’m going to put down Thirty Dollars of hard earned money to go and watch the acts because I do believe that this festival is important, and needs to continue. I ALSO believe that there are ways to improve things, and am quite willing to get my hands dirty to do it. After all, one thing us ‘ great unwashed’ know how to do is put our backs into things….

    In Closing, Craig, I would simply state the attitude you’ve shown here is typical of those who think they’ve seen and done all, that they know better, and because they have ( until recently) had the platform all to themselves, now suddenly attack those who have had some pretty good points about how things might, just might be improved. I guess you don’t like it when ‘ us idiots’ can actually talk back? If you sense sarcasm, and me being patronizing in this post, hey – you got it in one try. I Give back what I get so, look in the mirror bud. If there was those who ‘ raised a stink’, its because that’s what seems to work . You want to have a Civil Conversation about this subject, I’m game. Anytime, I’ll even buy a pitcher. You want to sound like a patronizing jerk who carries their air of superiority around like its a birthright, You’ll get bile back. Have a Wonderful 2011 Lift Off, The weather’s supposed to be great , so I look forward to the committed paying off that loan ASAP.

  16. Author

    Hi Jim

    Thank you so much for your comment. Comments like yours are one of the reasons I founded this newspaper!

  17. Where’s the preacher on this?…. Just kidding:)

  18. Craig Michaels:

    How do you think it is fair that a station that does not have the largest listener base gets radio exclusivity to Cornwall’s biggest event? Did the event fo to tender? Was anyone else asked? I don’t think so! It is the Cornwall’s BEST Event and the board should highlight more local musicians and be held accountable for all its decisions including expenses!

    This article was written to first highlight how a local business was not allowed to promote CANADA DAY for GOD’s SAKES! How can you give exclusivity to CANADA FESTIVITIES that are paid for by donations and tax payers dollars? Easy….BAD decisions made because of the lack of business knowledge our local politicians possess!

    If you want proof of what are local businesses think of our local politicians business knowledge look at the CFIB’s ECONOMIES IN BOOM REPORT!

    Mike Bedard

  19. So today when I am at Lift off, I will be able to recognize Furtz from a distance? He will be the one wearing the pasta strainer. Cool! Furtz – what color will it be? A shining one will reflect off the sun light just fine – dazzling. Awesome!

  20. I’ll be the old fart with a long gray beard done up in drag. Have you ever seen a gray beard done up in drag? Bet you haven’t. I’ll be wearing my green plastic strainer. I only wear my stainless steel one for Holy occasions.
    All Hail!!!

  21. Jim: You’re certainly not the only musician who has slept in rundown band houses, travelled in decrepit vans, and dodged beer bottles. I don’t see how your years of playing for the “love of music” makes you qualified to stage a festival. Despite this wealth of music experience, you still haven’t brought any suggestions to the table re: raising funds, recruiting and organizing volunteers, or managing infrastructure – just more “not fair” re: local bands and Corus.

    I also don’t see how your contempt for terrestrial radio has any validity to the argument.

    Reg, Mike & Others: Many of you operate from the position that Lift-Off is a public trust, “local” event. It is a festival designed to draw and showcase Cornwall to tourists organized by a committee not at all affiliated with the city. No tenders are needed, nor is accountability to the taxpayer at large. As a tourist draw it tries to book acts that people will travel to see – bands they know. Therefore, more local bands certainly aren’t the answer, though including some may provide the exposure needed to increase their audience.

    Festivals of this nature take huge amounts of unseen financial and physical resources to run smoothly and successfully. Admissions alone cannot provide the monies necessary – corporate support is needed. If I were Pepsi I certainly wouldn’t want Coke as a co-sponsor, hence exclusivity. It’s how festivals the world over operate.

    Montreal and Ottawa are bigger cities with resources to hold longer festivals that feature a wider range of talent (including local artists who are indeed compensated.) They also sell exclusive sponsorships, and both cities, as well as provincial and federal governments each provide substantial sponsorship dollars to promote tourism, all of which I never hear anyone whining about in the newspapers, let alone on gossip websites. And in this case Lift-Off repaid what was a loan, rather than a sponsorship, to the city in full before the festival’s end.

    Sean: I have read the thread and note those who have volunteered their services. Being rebuffed does not denote conspiracy. Perhaps they weren’t needed, weren’t seen to be qualified, or organizers simply went with people they knew just as organizers of Bluesfest, Just for Laughs, or the Jazz Festival do for staffing key positions, for reasons noted in my previous post.

    Jim: If you want to dismiss my informed, reasoned argument defending attacks against people working hard to grow their community and economy as attitude – that’s your choice. It certainly won’t qualify you to take part in a debate on the subject whether you buy the beer or not.

  22. Craig, are telling us that there is no public money involved with the production of Lift Off, aside from the $30,000 interest free loan from the city? Are you also saying that the event is strickly an altruistic event to service the needs of Corus anyone except the businesses and citizens of Cornwall and area?

    Perhaps you and Corus should pay attention to what is happening to that piece of the Murdock media empire in Brittan. “Fair” is becoming important again. “Fair” is expected by the public.

  23. its funny, when people talk about Old Boyz Club. Always criticizing, but when it is time to do the work they either drop out of the committee or just want to get their name as a committee member because they have alternative reasons; Running for office…applying for jobs.. Thank god we have alot of old boys that are willing to put up with this kind of childish nonsense that some of the less intelligent citizens of Cornwall have to offer. To all the old boys and girls that keep up the good work.

  24. Craig Michaels:

    To respond to your rebutle about my comments, a Trillium Grant of $23,933.00 is TAX PAYERS DOLLARS and the Loan of $30,000 was also TAX PAYERS DOLLARS……..but yet you state “No tenders are needed, nor is accountability to the taxpayer at large.”

    Also, there is no debating that the bands selected appeal more to the Chorus / CJSS crowd and the lists of bands don’t play regularly on any radio station but there’s! And let’s face it, they are NOT bands your 20-40 year old Crowds frequently listen too! Hell, I would bet over 90% of the people between the age of 20-40 have to google the bands names just to find out who they are! AND THEN YOU TELL ME THAT “PEOPLE WILL DRIVE TO SEE BANDS THEY KNOW” and more local bands aren’t the answer!

    I will admit to making one small grammatical error “The Committee should not have put anything out to tender but it should receive quotes for services from atleast 2 seperately affiliated vendors!” My business recieves 3 before awarding contracts! Adopting this small and simple practice is good business and allows for the committee to prove that they are both effecient and responsible! I GUARANTEE you that CHORUS was given EXCLUSIVITY without any formal process!

    Lift-Off is a great Community Event and not a single person is debating that FACT! We are talking about whether it is fair, or even reasonable, to give exclusivity to marketing activities for CANADA DAY!

    Also, if we are going to discuss marketing trends and uses of marketing do you think I should demand that Corus, The Freeholder, Seaway News or any other local firm NEVER advertise a competitor if I spend XXX of dollars with them! No, it isn’t and I can tell you, that I have spent over $40,000 a year with several of these businessess who would, in the same year, give free advertising to my competitors to try and get them to spend money and never gave me a free ad ever! That is why I know for a fact that it is NOT wise to NOT shop the competition and let’s face if your goal is to bring people in from out of TOWN, why use CORUS? They are a LOCAL radio station that does not reach OTTAWA or MONTREAL, as well as its competitors! Why would you not use, for example, 94.7 HITS FM, who reach a lot more people in Montreal and in Upper New York State! I’ll tell you why…becasue many of the committee members work for CORUS; plain and simple!

    If you can not prove that you have done your due diligiences than you can not defend yourself honestly! I beleive the main problem is the lack of communication and a missing community accepted process!

    P.S. – I honestly don’t know who you are but I respect you for at least using your name unlike many other people who are afraid to defend themselves intelligently! Congrats for that and respectful conversation can and will chagne people’s minds about certain subjects!

    Final Note, Have you ever worked for Corus because many of your comments sound like you have a co-relation to one of the people or companies in this discussion?

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  25. “Many of you operate from the position that Lift-Off is a public trust, “local” event. It is a festival designed to draw and showcase Cornwall to tourists organized by a committee not at all affiliated with the city. No tenders are needed, nor is accountability to the taxpayer at large. As a tourist draw it tries to book acts that people will travel to see – bands they know.”

    So, what you are saying is that the people who are volunteering are not at all associated with Cornwall? They don’t live here or shop here? Their children don’t go to our local schools? How does that make them unaffiliated?

    As for the bands that are booked, I for one am tired of hearing the same bands over and over. How many times are people expected to come out to see April Wine and Kim Mitchell? Since the local bands are not being paid to perform, that should free up more funds to book bands that are more popular. Ash Koley was so boring. The mix was so terrible Collective Soul’s lead singer’s voice was muffled even when you were standing in front.

    I am hearing that the public has some pretty good ideas to improve the festival, but as usual, the backwards thinking people here are resistant to them. It’s like they are saying it’s been working up to now, why change it? Open your eyes, people!

  26. Author

    According to a report in the Free Holder, that even with 100% perfect weather, Lift Drew only about 30,000 people when their goal was 55K, that with a reduced entry fee. That’s not a recipe for growth or success. That’s a recipe for change, and improvement. It’s time to wipe the slate of people that don’t want to work with others on a community festival supported by public monies. If Corus wants to take over Lift Off that’s super. Let them write the cheques. Lift Off has still not shared how much money was spent on advertising to Corus and apparently the only out of town advertising they did was with a Corus TV station in Kingston and a Montreal Corus radio affiliate. Again, let Corus pay the bill if they want their own fest.

  27. Regardless of the city and/or province’s decision to grant/loan/buy-a-sponsorship, that doesn’t automatically grant the city ownership of Lift-Off. It is as independent an entity as anyone else the city does business with. As such Lift-Off is not obligated to put anything to tender, nor look at competing bids, nor frankly be accountable to anyone but their Board of Directors.

    The city isn’t “buying” anything from Lift-Off. It is loaning money. Is that wise? That’s for citizens to decide. Is it smart business – absolutely. The exposure and economic spinoffs from tourism and balloon operators grows the economy.

    Is Corus or the Freeholder the best choice for the exposure a festival of this nature should seek? A criticism in event planning for years has been that if you are trying to draw tourists, the bulk of your media buys should be out-of-town, or regional media. Corus has radio and TV stations across Ontario and Quebec. One hopes they were chosen because they ran Lift-Off promos throughout those regions across their Radio, TV and Web platforms. Did Cornwall Free News offer to bring similar resources to bear for Lift-Off?

    Perhaps Corus were the only media outlet with the needed resources who came to the table, and maybe the deal was a simple discount on air time. So be it. As an independent not-for-profit Lift-Off has the autonomy to spend its monies as its board sees fit regardless of where they come from.

    As for sponsorhsip exclusivity – it is the norm. Major advertisers can and do demand official/exclusive status for sports (Super Bowl), festivals (Cisco Bluesfest,) racing (Honda Indy) and a variety of other events. If they’re putting up enough money, they get it. In 1996, I was a member of the WorldFest committee. Had we been able to get both businesses serving alcohol within the event grounds to commit to serving Seagram’s beverages exclusively, I had Seagram’s ready to give us $20,000 in sponsorship. And we would have welcomed it. Now where is Worldfest today?

    When booking entertainment, again you get who you can afford and feel you can recoup your monies with. The popular contemporary acts young people want to see won’t come to Cornwall when the festival is charging $10 a ticket. That is a reality. You got April Wine again this year cause they live in Montreal and could drive home after the show so Lift-Off didn’t have to pay to put them up for the night. That made them affordable. That’s how it works. Local bands may also be affordable, but not enough people have heard of them so they’re not driving to Cornwall to see them. That’s how that works.

    The reality is that without the resources, services-in-kind and discounts provided by Corus and other sponsors, and the exclusivity deals that lead to them, Lift-Off wouldn’t happen. If you want change at Lift-Off then step up with sponsorship dollars that can have an impact. If you can’t offer dollars, then help find more sponsors, or more popular bands willing to play for peanuts. Or start your a better festival just like Lift-Off did 17 years ago.

    As for Canada Day – perhaps that is another matter. However, I certainly don’t believe it is indicative of citywide, systemic corruption.

    What Cornwall Free News refers to as “predatory practices” is called business and that’s what festivals are. And any business that spends more time complaining about competitors rather than competing against them never lasts long.

    And Mike, I do not work for Corus, though I did a stint at CJSS in the 1980’s and with Cogeco in the 1990’s. I now run a multimedia company that provides online media management, marketing, and event planning services.

  28. Author

    Craig most of what your saying while lucid is mostly spin. When a “board of volunteers” is stacked with loyalists to one company you get the results you had this year, which was a great fest with perfect weather that only drew about half of the traffic said “board of volunteers” targeted. If Corus wants to run this fest then they should. As a taxpayer I have no problem with that. The BS veneer though should come down. Let them take over Lift Off for a year and see what happens.

    As for the acts; sorry, that’s bs too. The Malone Fair has Randy Travis playing. Would you suggest that Mr. Travis wouldn’t pull in Country fans in a city and region the size of Cornwall? As for advertising; the data we have so far shows that the only external advertising was done via two corus entities; a tv station in Kingston and one radio station in Montreal. If that’s accurate that’s not a whole lot.

    If the goal is to attract as many people as possible this team failed. F – it’s that clear. By not using our services and those of 94.7 and some other media a huge chasm of opportunity was lost. For example Ottawa is our number one market and 5 other Ontario cities are in our top ten. Last year we had a contra sponsorship of Lift Off. We promoted the crap out of them and they gave us some passes. It was more to contribute and be a part of the event.

    This year, because of Candy Pollard’s bizarre hatred of our company and love of Corus, we were blocked out completely as she’s done with every position she’s had since we’ve been in existence. These kind of people should have no role in any event supported with tax payers dollars. These attitudes should not be connected to such events either. You get what you work for and in this case the showcase event of the year for Cornwall pulled in less than 50% of the target audience with 100% perfect condition. Also in today’s very competitive entertainment world you can’t wait until a few weeks before the event. You need an actual comprehensive marketing plan that targets your goal.

    That’s why this board should be house cleaned, but more on that in our upcoming story. We are waiting for a few more quotes including some answers from Judi Auger, Lift Off chair.

  29. A not-for-profit organization that depends heavily on public money had better consider Fair Business Practices. There have been other not-for-profit businesses in the area that didn’t, and they have had their funding cancelled. They are no longer in business. Do we want that to happen to Lift Off?

    Fair business practices and accountability are important when you are feeding at the public funding trough.

  30. Mike
    I can tell you about past business practices that seemed to work quite well in the 60’s and 70’. It relates to your comment “any other local firm NEVER advertise a competitor if I spend XXX of dollars with them!” AT one time if a business wanted a vending machine you would NEVER see the product of the competition in the store or restaurant. I have seen helpers being left by the roadside on delivery runs because they purchased a competitors product and brought it in the truck. At that time in order to keep your exclusivity you needed to perform and perform well. It wasn’t easy to keep our place.
    Now our business practices have gone soft, and yes rightly so for the little guy but with it we get situations as best described in the movie Armageddon by Rockbound

    “You know we’re sitting on four million pounds of fuel, one nuclear weapon and a thing that has 270,000 moving parts built by the lowest bidder. Makes you feel good, doesn’t it?
    Personally I prefer to pay a bit more to get what I asked for done right. However then we need better management.

    You make very valid points and so prominent in business anymore, why does Candy Pollard have issue with you?

    I think you are speculating a little saying more people would come with better promotions for this year. You must remember it is a recession and not many people are travelling as much.

  31. Author

    hailey last I checked Bluesfest and the Montreal jazz fest drew good numbers. Bottom line for events; if you don’t promote you’re doomed. Here’s an example. When the ad bag started and there were a handful of flyers it was a truly amazing value. Now there are tons of flyers in there. When I get my ad bag for example I don’t read all of them any more. A flyer has to grab my attention and I may not even fully read it as there are others to read and I instinctively am compelled to look quickly before I lose attention or interest.

    Now extrapolate that to summer events. It’s mid-week and I’m thinking that the weather is nice, what am I going to do? If I lived in this region within an hour or two there are a lot of choices. Get it? 🙂

  32. Author

    Reg while fair is nice, it’s what’s best for the event that should count. An example being that we’re the only area media that support TV Quality commercials. There is a great Lift Off commercial that was done by KAV productions. I’m sure it could only have helped promote the event if it had been on our homepage and viewed a few thousand times in month preceding Lift Off…..

    Again, lost opportunities. How many people would’ve come out to Lift Off this weekend, with perfect weather; if it had been properly promoted? Maybe even enough so that a loan wouldn’t be necessary for next year too?

  33. Cornwall,

    There’s an old salesman saying that states ” If you can’t Dazzle them with Brilliance….then Baffle them with BS!”. I think this old school mentality has stuck with some of the ENLIGHTENED senior members of the community! Times continously change and “Yes….if it isn’t broke don’t fix it!” but “Trends and People continously change and Evolve!” What people liked in the 80’s they don’t like today! To attract people in todays market place you need to be DIFFERENT and STAND OUT amongst the rest (competition)!

    Their is a reason why we have one of the lowest number of University Graduates in the Province living in our City! There is not enough reasons to move here! We have NO University! We have nothing to do in Cornwall; that other communities don’t have as well! We have a BAD reputation for Smuggling, Poluted Air and it is “very well known” that there is a small group of individuals, who are prominent in the community, that want to control the entire city and that will bash you if you don’t do what they want you too! This creates such a negative environment that it makes it tougher to do business in Cornwall than in any other City! We have a HUGE Population of people on Ontario Works (Welfare) and an alarming high number of people on ODSP (Disability Pensions)! What is the most alarming is that the rate at which the Welfare and ODSP recipients are growing faster than the amount of people getting OFF of Employment Insurance! ………Hopefully all of those “Coming Soon!” jobs get here quick!

    Defend your actions yourself and don’t use friends and family to do it for you! I love what Lift-Off does for Cornwall but I am VERY oncerned about where this event will be in 5 years….or if it will exist by then! The community supports it and the volunteers are great! However, great volunteers don’t necessarily mean they will be great leaders! Like in Sports……a good player sometimes can be the Worst Manager and Good Managers often wern’t the best players!

    If the Lift-Off Committe gets ANYTHING from this article and recognizes the surprisng number of responses……Understand that CHANGE IS NEEDED! What to change can be decided by a competent board! Failure to recognize that change is needed is a clear sign that the Board needs to be changed! Simple!

    Wanting change is Very similar to how we react to political parties and leaders! Why do you think we always want to change Parties (Liberal to Conservative, etc.) or leaders? When I ran for council I heard that we needed change over and over again like a broken record…..incumbents fell back into a huddle and claimed that they were responsible for the major construction in the city and even started naming their leader Mr. Kilger “Builder Bob”!…………Now that the local economy has tanked and construction on the same projects are of no longer any interest to John Q. Public our NEW..ummmn..OLD council is keeping quiet and for good reason……There’s nothing to talk about becasue they acutally CAN”T DO ANYTHING and THEY were NOT directly responsible for the construction in our community!

    Remember Council rejected the 3+1 Project! A group had to protest and started a funding drive to have council change it’s mind!……….and then they still argued and tried to stall the project by debating the location! They have nothing to do with the Hospital Construction or the NEW Bridge! They couldn’t even do anything about the Boarder when the crossing was an issue! So what have they done that has brought significant POSITIVE change to our Community? Answer……Not Enough!

    It is our community leaders in the business community or City Employees such as Mark Boileau or Bob Peters who are doing their job well but still need a tonne of help that are actually getting people to “ChooseCornwall” or join “Team Cornwall”!

    Choose Cornwall does a great job of highlighting some positive reasons to move to Cornwall and Highlights a few Businesses!

    Team Cornwall does an awesome job of trying to change peoples perception of Cornwall!

    …….But what are we doing for our youth? NOTHING and No matter how hard I try and I have met with the Mayor, talked to Concillors and e-mailed or Economic Development office…….NO ONE WANTS TO HELP!

    The Youth Advisory Committee is a JOKE it is a PIZZA PARTY for one council member and several HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS! The city has no platform for anyone between 16 yrs old to 30 yrs old! We (myself 29 yrs old) can not help council as an active youth without sounding like a whiner! It is extremely frustating!

    I want to create an environment to get our youth back but I need the City of Cornwall to listen and exact some small measures that would cost nothing and help us move forward! Maybe someone will read this and respond! I hope they do because I have a tonne of ideas to intiate some major changes for our youth that are both professional and creative!

    Thank You,
    Mike Bedard

  34. Jamie: I am dumbfounded by your rationale here. You say the Board is stacked with Corus employees, yet say they should run the festival for a year. If, as you contend, the Lift-Off Board is “stacked” with Corus employees then don’t they already run the festival?

    I’d be interested to know where your Corus “data” comes from. Is it the same source you use to disseminate your web stats?

    You can label my comments “spin” all you wish. The reality is they are explanations of common business practices regarding event planning.

    I have little to no knowledge of your enterprise or you, but what I see here from an outsiders point of view is a lot of bellyaching that your business is not being taken seriously. And based on many of the poor journalistic practices featured on this site, I’m afraid it is easy to see why it is not.

  35. Author

    Yet here you are Craig posting volumes of info supporting a company you had a relationship with on this humble site which you seem to be quite critical of and have much disdain for? See this is what I chip away at, and I think it’s something many people connect with, and that’s not really enjoying being spun. Right now Corus is probably the biggest beneficiary of Lift Off. In 2010 when the province gave Lift Off $75K the extra large stage was added with very much extra larger Corus banners plastered all over it. I have a hunch that if you looked at the 2009 and 2011 numbers, if they were made available, you probably wouldn’t see a higher “contribution” from Corus for that extra “exclusive” exposure.

    So when I suggest you give Lift Off to Corus for a year, which I’m not really doing, I’m simply suggesting that the “veneer of dishonesty” is removed and that Corus pay the freight for the event instead of just sucking the life out of it.

    Corus isn’t a bad company. It’s not lke they’re evil or breaking the law. They just are cutting themselves the best deal they can at the expense of what many feel is the best interest of Lift Off which is heavily supported by tax dollars.

  36. Admin: How can you say it’s supported heavily by tax payers dollars? The city loaned them 30k for about 3 months so the in kind interest on that is peanuts. The festival operates on at least a 400K budget so the amount of tax payers dollars is mice nuts compared to the in- kind and dolllars raised to meet their budgets, Go through the list and see all the great sponsors that unlike this site came to the plate and didn’t belly ache about Corus. It takes many more players at the table to make this event tick. .If you’re upset because you didn’t get a piece of the promotional pie too bad, Be friendly nobody;s going to do you any favors if you’re firing off insults, At the end of the day you’re really getting what’s deserved. If anyone is spiining it’s you there are three sides to every story

  37. Author

    Chris the city provided Lift Off with free services and some actual cash in addition to the $30,000 interest free loan.

  38. Well, well, well……if the festival operates on a 400k budget, they could support our local talent with dollars as well as promotion on their website and social media venues.

  39. There is a cancer at Corus, that cancer is Rob Seguin … How he has a job I will never know … hence the reason I quit about a month ago ….

    He’s a talentless hack who just seems to enjoy planting his lips as far up any corporate rectum as he can.

    FYI Corus Longterm Business Goals for Radio:

    Centralized content creation, no local jocks, no local content, all content to be produced, created and managed out of Toronto head office and then distributed automatically to local stations.

  40. My name is Candace Livingstone, former Creative Director of Corus Entertainment Cornwall. I was employed with Corus Cornwall for 8 years until my recent departure to pursue a career opportunity closer to my family and hometown.

    I would like to publicly set the record straight that any comments posted by “CreativelyCandy” or any other persons falsely representing themselves as me are complete fabrications.

    These defamatory comments in no way reflect my feelings toward Corus Entertainment, Rob Seguin or any employee within organization. My departure from Corus Entertainment was on good terms and I’ve maintain an excellent relationship with Rob Seguin on both a personal and professional basis. We share a mutual respect and I genuinely enjoyed my time at Corus. I was given many opportunities for growth in my career and will look back on my time with Corus fondly.

    I strongly believe that Corus is a valuable contributor to that community and so are all of the employees. It saddens me to see such a cowardly attack on a person using situations to which they have absolutely no insight.

    I would strongly encourage the site administrator to remove any comments that are falsely representing my personal opinions of Corus Entertainment, Rob Seguin or any other person within the Corus Entertainment Company.

    To my all my Cornwall Friends & Corus Family:

    Please be advised that any further posts falsely representing my personal beliefs should be considered to be complete fabrications and should be disregarded. I wish Rob Seguin, Corus Entertainment and all of my former colleagues all the best. I encourage you all to ignore these comments and hold your heads high! You do that community great services – everyday! And I was proud to be a member of your team.


    Candace Livingstone

  41. My name is Ewart Cameron, former Creative Writer for Corus Cornwall.

    I’d like to second Candace’s statement in support of Rob, the company and the team at Corus Cornwall. During my time with the company, I have been given may opportunities and much encouragement by Rob and Corus, and I support and will continue to have a deep respect for the positive contributions they bring to the community.

    I kindly encourage you to remember these contributions and disregard any comments that may be made to the contrary. Its been a sincere pleasure to work within such a dedicated team

  42. Author

    Is there anyone left working in Creative for Corus Cornwall? Is there some reason why two “former” creative are posting these notes of support?

  43. Jamie, people do not stay in the same job their whole lives. They move around. The Corus Creative team all moved for different reasons (husbands job, a great job opportunity).. it just so happened it was around the same time. I love how you try to create drama. What’s in it for you? And yeah, I can imagine what these two “former” creative employees are posting their notes of support – because they respect Corus and the staff and because someone used the name “CreativelyCandy’ which insinuated it was Candace Livingstone, and obviously she’d want to clarify that she would never write that. At the same time, she asked you to take down the comment, but you didn’t. Why? If we know it was written falsely, why is it still on your “news” site?

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