Council gives go-ahead to sponsorship opportunity project

A fundraising committee looking to bring in $2 million for a new recreation facility has been given the green light by council.

A fundraising committee looking to bring in $2 million for a new recreation facility has been given the green light by council.

At its regular meeting, Monday, council approved a sponsorship opportunity list which gives benefactors the chance to see their name somewhere in the proposed new facility, depending on the dollar amount they wish to spend.

Naming rights for the complex will go for $500,000. To purchase naming rights for other venues such as the aquatic centre, the two arenas and the curling rink, sponsors must be prepared to shell out $250,000.

Prices for other parts of the complex vary, running from $100,000 for naming rights in the civic centre and lobby to $10,000 for one of the multipurpose or referee rooms.

The terms of the sponsorships will be a maximum five-year pledge period for a 10-year naming right. Sponsors will be given the first right of refusal to enter into a continuing naming opportunity at the end of the ninth year.

A report to council from co-chairs of the fundraising committee, Deb Garrity and Amy Komarniski states the collapse of the arena in January necessitated the committee to pick up the pace for fundraising.

“Many groups and individuals are looking for a way to help and we want to ensure we capitalize on those opportunities.”

Although council gave the thumbs up for the fundraising project, some councillors expressed misgivings.

“I feel the pricing doesn’t match the project,” said Coun. Dale Plante.”I hope I’m dead wrong on this, but I think it’s a massive stretch to ask $20,000 for a dressing room.”

Coun. Matt Prete said the sponsorship opportunity list was only one method of fundraising.

“I hate to see us put all our eggs in one basket. Citizens at large need an opportunity to buy into project as well.”

Despite reservations, council voted to go ahead with the project.

“Time is of the essence,” said Coun. Graham Parsons.

“We have hired someone with an expertise in this area,” added Coun. Christine Lust, referring to consultants Kid Advanced Philanthropy.

In their report, the fundraising co-chairs said the plan is to continue with the project of soliciting major gifts and sponsorships.

“However, we see a need to create a central hub for individuals/organizations planning an event, want to volunteer or want to make an outright donation,” the report states. “This will be done through the creation of a website that can be linked to numerous other websites: the town, minor hockey, figure skating, curling club, local business, etc. Our goal with this is to help co-ordinate the community’s efforts, provide contact information, donation information and keep a tally of all the events going on.”