Collingwood has killed Jazz & Blues at the Station – a popular, long-running, local cultural event second in audience only to the Elvis Festival. It brought some of Ontario’s top jazz and blues talent to play at the Museum. The hundreds of people assembled every Wednesday for the free concert – sometimes more than 400 in a single night, many of them coming from Blue Mountain, Clearview and Wasaga Beach – will be disappointed. As are the organizers, who have been trying unsuccessfully since late last year to get the town to commit to promised funding.
All those people who came downtown for the music then went to local bars and restaurants afterwards, or came to shop before the concert – won’t be giving Collingwood their business this year. They won’t be sitting on a patio on a warm summer night sharing their experience.
One less cultural event to attract visitors and entertain locals.
In previous terms, other councils have helped the non-profit event by funding it to pay for bands and performers. It’s a tiny expense for a huge return in public relations and public engagement. Some of us at the table last term understood that and made sure the event went ahead.
This council clearly doesn’t give a damn about local events or culture. But it does care about giving itself a raise instead. How open and accountable is that?
This term, council raised your taxes in order to give themselves and staff a raise. This council gave Councillor Jeffrey a $40,000 slush fund to run for a seat on the FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) board – a position which glorifies her and provides her with free flights, hotels and meals across Canada, but does nothing for the community.
How accountable was that?