CORNWALL Ontario – The City of Cornwall’s signature event has been grounded for 2015. There will be no 21st Lift Off this year.
Consistent to their unprofessional nature Lift Off organizers sent out a press invite and didn’t show up giving selected media snippets of info.
The Standard Freeholder got a hold of Terry Muir, the current Prez who complained about there simply not being enough cash and not being able to attract corporate
They had asked the city for $35K, but the City, as only the mean spirited of this council could do only agreed to send them $12,242, which is better than the slashing to zero that they did the the Public Art Galleries funding. It’s been asked if their monies will be transferred over to TAG Cornwall?
The usual excuse will be that it’s a “Volunteer board” like the excuses given by Winterfest which also was cancelled this year, but it comes down to how you run your ship.
Both groups had some of the same people at the helm and the closed shop pettiness and lack of actual skill doomed the events. The Kinsmen pulled their support and moved it to Waterfest. No touring bands in the Lift Off price range had been signed and it’s late in the booking season as well.
Lift Off’s issues stem to the mysterious marital break up of founder Chris Savard who left town in a hurry after rumours of scandal broke regarding the Lift Off coffers.
Ultimately instead of balloons and acts that might attract tourists Cornwallites will get over priced ribs in styrofoam boxes while sitting at prison tables with local acts they could normally see for free mixed in with a few cover bands at Lamoureux Parc this year. The one bright point is we won’t have a alcohol fueled Rick Shaver yelling at the welfare deadbeats outside of the fence who are too cheap to buy a ticket. (I paraphrase)
To add insult to injury Phil Shorey and his team at Ribfest essentially are using little to no local services. The Rib portion of the event is managed by Carter Shows Ltd and Phil didn’t even use local firms like Sylvain Sound for the stage. In other words almost all of the money pumped into Ribfest will be leaving the community.
Fundamentally this is an Economic Development and tourism issue, and it’s yet another reason why the City should be considering the replacement of Mark Boileau & Bob Peters as they have seen failure after failure while spending an awful lot of tax money.
Looking at the make up of what’s left of the board for the most part shows too little too late with people that clearly do not understand the nature of serving a community or their role.
Here is Lift Off’s Press Release
The Board of Directors of the Cornwall Hot Air balloon Festival has voted to cancel Lift-Off 2015 citing an inability to garner major sponsors. The Board was relying on raising funds to secure this year’s entertainment roster and to cover the remaining deficit from the 2013 Lift-Off festival which suffered a large loss due primarily to adverse weather conditions.
Further, Lift-Off has to date been unable to attract a commitment for a title sponsor for the 2015 edition of the annual festival. Additionally a number of the large sponsors have not yet committed to return as of this point. With less than three months until the 2015 festival date it was determined by the Board that it would not have the time to raise the funds required and attract the talent that festival goers are anticipating.
It is the intention of the Board of Directors to stay the course and through a series of fund raising events, satisfy the current debt outstanding by the festival. We are thankful for the evident support from the City of Cornwall which was a step in the right direction. We are hopeful the the same or greater level of commitment will be in force when Lift-Off applies for funding for 2016.
Municipal funds allocated for Lift-Off 2015 will not be requested from the City of Cornwall.
Lift-Off is a 100% volunteer based, home grown festival that is unique to Cornwall. The Board of Directors is hopeful that the community will support it’s efforts to raise the funds required to satisfy commitments and to prepare for the Festival’s return in 2016.
Cornwall Lift Off Hot Air Balloon Festival
* Terry Muir * Mary Marleau * Stephanie MacDonald * *Terri Guay * Stephanie Levac * Tim Sage *
* Marvin Plumadore * Maurice Dupelle *
* Diane Wallace * Kevin Wilson *
* Martha Woods *