The record was set in 2010; the year that CFN was a media sponsor, and the year that something odd happened that led to money not being explained and the founder, Chris Savard leaving the event for 2011 and town this year. 2011 was marred by the event having to borrow $30K or not go on and having a circus of councilor Thibault making a scene onstage accepting the return of the funds that never should have been loaned.
It’s odd that the actual Lift Off website makes no mention of its founder anywhere on its website; in its history or about us areas….
Kudos to the hundreds of volunteers that really make Lift Off happen; and no, I’m not talking about its board of directors.
Lift Off should be the cornerstone of Cornwall. It should be our signature event. Balloons should fly over our fair city each and every summer, but the Kinsmen in many people’s opinion should not be the ones to run this event any longer.
They’ve had three years now to explain their finances and improve the event. Three years of steady decline in attendance is not good value to their loyal sponsors who also want this event to shine.
Lift Off is such an opportunity for our community to truly work “TOGETHER” and showcase ourselves. I heard from a number of downtown merchants that their business actually was worse during Lift Off this year. That has to change. So much has to change if this festival has to be saved. There`s no reason it should not be as big as the St. Jean sur Richelieu Baloon Festival that draws over 10 times as many people. We just need vision and for all of us to work together.
Predatory media practices have to change. Personally I would have loved nothing more than to promote Lift Off. In 2012 to date for example we’ve had over 6,000,000 page views. Can you imagine the positive impact that would have had to promote this event had it not been for people like Jason Jesmer & Michael Galvin? And there are other local media that would have loved nothing more than to simply have helped promote our city and event that were inexplicably left out. We won`t even start to talk about the musical selections that were catered to one radio stations formats!
It’s better to be a part of something amazing that have something exclusive that’s just not that great.
I`m an optimist at heart. I truly hope that Cornwall
Kinsmen Lift Off 2013 is something ALL of our community can be part of and I hope that we find a new team to rejuvenate this event that should be a popular treasure that attracts as many people as possible.
We owe it to our community; we owe it to our city; but mostly we owe it to the hundreds of volunteers that make it happen.
Jamie Gilcig, Editor – The Cornwall Free News!
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