Coquitlam is expected to pull an extra $125,000 from its coffers to mark the country’s 156th birthday.
Tonight (May 15), council is set to green-light the cash from the city’s sponsorship reserve for the July 1 party at Town Centre Park.
Last year’s celebrations drew about 85,000 visitors — an increase of 13 per cent over the last full in-person Canada Day festivities in 2019, which attracted 75,000 guests to the City Centre park.
In a report, Lanny Englund, Coquitlam’s general manager of parks, recreation, culture and facilities, wrote that the price tag to mount mega-events has soared since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020, and more money is needed to pay the bills so that Canada Day activities are not cut.
“The event industry has seen a dramatic rise in the cost of producing events post–pandemic,” Englund wrote. “This increase is attributable to changes in the event industry resulting in labour shortages, fewer suppliers, supply chain issues, rising fuel costs and general inflationary pressures.”
Englund added, “The most notable increases have been associated with stage production/audio visual, provincial regulatory changes to traffic management, tenting, ending, paramedic services and fireworks.”
He projected event costs will rise up to 70 per cent this year “in all budget line items” over the 2019 cost of $186,000, translating to a bottom line of $365,000.
Still, Englund said, the hefty tally will be offset by a $45,000 federal grant from Heritage Canada, as well as $28,000 from the province’s new BC Fairs, Festivals and Events Fund.
In addition, Marcon, Journey Auto Group and Coquitlam Centre are back with corporate contributions totalling $35,000.
For Canada Day 2023, the City of Coquitlam plans a similar scope and format as last year’s, launching at noon with the opening ceremony.
There will be two stages for music and dance performances plus community displays, artisan demonstrations, food trucks, an eco-zone, adventure games and a beer garden.
The headline act hits the Town Centre Park Community Plaza stage at 8:30 p.m. followed by fireworks.
More details about Coquitlam’s Canada Day celebrations can be found at coquitlam.ca/canadaday.