Despite receiving some critical feedback, the success of this year’s Summer Stomp enabled the organization to give back to the community.
In a presentation to municipal council, Stomp CEO/producer Steve Hammer said the non-profit group was able to make several donations from the proceeds of this year’s event. The Sicamous Legion received about $5,000, while $1,500 went to the Sicamous food bank. Another $2,000 went to the Salmon Arm Elks, and $1,600 was given to both the Easter Seals House and Ronald McDonald House in the Lower Mainland. Hammer said there’s still another $2,000 earmarked for Sicamous.
“Whether that’s the food bank or there’s a project going on at a school or a park or something, we’d be happy to get some feedback from the council and the staff,” said Hammer.
Number-wise, Hammer said there was about 1,850 people in paid attendance on the Stomp grounds this year, and he estimated between 4,000 and 5,000 people visited the community during the four-day event.
Hammer also noted the organization put $4,500 into the Main Street events, which he said don’t make any money.
“It does create a little bit of havoc on Main Street,” said Hammer. “There are some marks that are left and some people have some issues with it, others don’t. I think it brings a lot, not only financially, to Sicamous, but also social benefits in getting people out. A lot of the community is out on the street.”
Hammer did refer to a “little survey” put out by the Sicamous and District Chamber of Commerce inviting feedback from local businesses and residents on the Stomp.
“The big comments… the feedback that we got out of that, really, was that the advertising needs to be a little bit better in town. I’m going to blame that on the Eagle Valley,” said Hammer, referring to the Eagle Valley News.
A summary of the survey’s results, released by the chamber, states the “community is definitely divided over the Summer Stomp and Burnout,” but respondents felt if the planning committee could address key issues, they could get more people on board with hosting the event. Those issues, along with “providing more and better advertising,” include the provision of more information to local businesses to provide customers; focusing more on including the community and its businesses, adding more family-friendly events downtown, considering a two-day event to make it worth it for participants, vendors and local businesses and sticking to the planned schedule.
“We did stick to schedules fairly well,” said Hammer.
To the question, Overall, how would you rate the Summer Stomp and Burnout, with 1 being very poor, 2 being poor, 3 average, 4 good and 5 excellent, the total average from individual respondents was 4.1, and 3.7 from businesses. Asked, How organized did you feel the event was, the total average from business respondents was 2.6, and 2.9 from individuals.
Along with his report, Hammer made a couple of requests to council. One was to either apply to the Agricultural Land Commission to get the Sicamous Dog Park, aka the Stomp Grounds, out of the Agricultural Land Reserve, or seek a five year extension with the ALC to allow the event to continue. The second request was for funding for the Main Street events.
“The district did contribute $7,500 for 2015 for Main Street, and we’re asking for $10,000 to be contributed to the Main Street event for 2016, along with a few… person hours for district staff,” said Hammer.
Regarding the $2,000 donation, Mayor Terry Rysz said council could certainly find a home for it. As for Hammer’s requests, he said council will be discussing them in upcoming budget deliberations.