Sicamous chamber aims to orchestrate large community events in the spirit of Moose Mouse Days
The Sicamous Chamber of Commerce is aiming to be the go-to-group for community event management with the assistance of a district-funded events co-ordinator.
Chamber executive director Corrinne Cross says one of the things that came up repeatedly during the recent municipal election was a longing in the community for large-scale events like Moose Mouse Days. However, organizing and co-ordinating such events can be a daunting task for individual organizations and/or non-profit groups.
“So what we’re thinking is, by bringing all the organizations and non-profits together, we would take some new event initiatives and sort of put them together and co-ordinate those, and market them, and all the organizations involved would participate and reap their percentage of the rewards financially as well,” says Cross.
To accommodate this, the chamber has proposed something of a partnership with the District of Sicamous, in the form of a district-funded position that would be responsible for the maintenance and management of a community events calendar, event logistics, researching new community event initiatives and co-ordinating volunteers and volunteer groups. In researching the feasibility of such a position, Cross said in a presentation to the district’s committee of the whole, it was found the district could pay $60,000 or more annually for what the chamber is proposing. The chamber, however, says it can fill this “much needed function” for $20,000, plus 10 per cent of all revenue after costs, to cover administration.
“These costs are in line with the need to hire a person to take a portion of the existing work load away from the potential person that will be focused on our membership services and revenue streams, as well as ensure that the events management portion is well focused,” said Cross.
Events already being entertained, and waiting to be planned, include mixed slo-pitch ball tournaments, hiking and trail ride adventures, competitive snow show and bike events, winter and summer Iron Man-type events, winter over-the-line ball tournaments, snowmobile events, dances, music festivals, Amazing Race-type events, hang gliding events, marathons and dragon boat racing.
“This proposal is designed to have many new, successful events in Sicamous and bring visitors into our community and into our businesses – a win for all,” says Cross. “This is not to take over anyone’s events, but to bring new events to town and be co-ordinated with other groups, so not to hinder any other event.
“That being said, if organizations are doing events, workshops or programs, etc., and would like some help in marketing, registration or legwork, we would be available to enhance their event with the knowledge base and skill sets that are present in our chamber organization.”
Cross notes this new chamber function could also benefit the community in terms of economic development, while helping to boost community spirit.
“This would be an umbrella-type project where we would be managing events for the District of Sicamous to work on community spirit, and bringing visitors into the community in hopes of them returning and possibly moving to Sicamous and investing into the community,” says Cross.
Mayor Darrell Trouton spoke favourably to the chamber’s proposal and how it might benefit the community.
“I think it’s great value for what they’re asking…” says Trouton. “And this is kind of something that can help stimulate the economy of Sicamous by bringing people here. The chamber already has that connection with the local businesses, so why not have them be the direction and the go-to person for that?”
Trouton says council supports the proposal in principle, though council has not yet agreed to include the event co-ordinator in the district’s 2012 budget. Trouton says there are some details he hopes to iron out first, such as accountability and risk management.
“When you have large events, you make sure that you’re in contact with the RCMP, security people, make sure you have proper fencing, make sure there’s liability insurance in place,” said Trouton. “If yo do a risk management assessment, it’s a lot easier to get insurance as well, and then you know you have all of your ducks in a row.”
The chamber proposes its contract with the district for an events co-ordinator be one year initially, to be renewed in three-year increments.