- BC Games
No fireworks for Canada Day in Coquitlam?
The bang may be taken out of Coquitlam's most popular community event.
Last week, some councillors suggested the cost of the fireworks display for Canada Day is too much given the city's struggle to secure a permanent sponsor.
Coun. Brent Asmundson said the $180,000 price tag for the July 1 event this year was $35,000 over budget despite city staff's efforts to save money.
He said while the fifth annual Canada Day party drew around 60,000 revellers to Town Centre Park, the $20,000 pyrotechnics show by Archangel Fireworks is an expense council has to think hard about as it heads into budget talks this and next month.
The 2014 Canada Day is budgeted at $180,000. "We need to watch our costs and make some tough choices," Asmundson said.
"It's a great function," Coun. Lou Sekora added, "but it just keeps climbing."
The Canada Day event is "about what Coquitlam is and can be," Coun. Neal Nicholson said, but "I want to get more aggressive with sponsorship."
Mayor Richard Stewart said he supports the event.
"I had more people comment that it's the best fireworks they have ever seen," he said. "This is our [Surrey] Fusion festival. It's what Coquitlam is today."
Council made the comments at the Oct. 7 council-in-committee meeting as city staff presented a five-year report for Canada Day.
Among the recommendations was a change in location due to Evergreen Line construction; vendors have also complained about the awkward location at Lafarge Lake.
Staff propose the festival be held in the north area of Lafarge Lake as well as Town Centre Park's south field (where the Teddy Bear Picnic is held) and Percy Perry Stadium. If the move is approved, Kathy Reinheimer, Coquitlam's parks and facilities manager, said council would be required to change its policy on the use of the stadium grounds as only sporting events, the BC Highland Games and Relay for Life are permitted there.
Community services manager Nicholas Najda said a stage could be placed above the stadium's artificial turf field to prevent it from being damaged.
Council also said Town Centre Park needs to have a purpose-built festival site with three major events coming up: Coquitlam's 125th birthday in 2016; the BC Seniors' Games the same year; and Canada's 150th birthday in 2017.