BY RYAN WELLICOME
The Lacombe Athletic Park Association (LAPA) received a commitment from City council to provide $25,000 towards organizing a free concert during next year’s Canada Day celebrations.
Council made the decision during the regular meeting held Monday.
“Certainly this supports council’s priorities to ensure we have a vibrant community and we are promoting economic development and community relations,” said Chief Administration Officer Norma MacQuarrie.
The concert will be part of Lacombe’s Canada Day celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation.
“We have had a number of meetings as a board and discussions to move forward with what we think to be a special initiative for Canada 150,” said LAPA Board Chair Murray Cunningham.
“There is some risk to us – as a small organization – to run a large event so any kind of contribution we can get is greatly appreciated.”
Lacombe Regional Tourism has been organizing Canada Day events in Lacombe for the past two years; next year the LAPA wishes to partner with them to bring the large event to fruition.
“Our goal from this is just to coordinate all of the groups together so we could have one united, larger event,” said Darren Gagnon, one of the LAPA’s founding members.
Council members agreed.
“I would certainly support the request. You only get to celebrate the 150th birthday once of this great country,” said Councillor Reuben Konnik.
Councillor Peter Bouwsema agreed.
“(This money) in effect equates to less that $2 per citizen in the City of Lacombe let alone the amount of people that are going to show up from outside of the City so I have no problem supporting this,” said Bouwsema.
The LAPA has estimated a $80,000 cost for the concert and will attempt to secure the amount – less the City’s contribution – from grants and sponsorships.
The funds from the 2016 budget for the City’s $25,000 contribution are insufficient therefore the contribution will be part of the City’s 2017 budget deliberations.
The LAPA has been in talks with country music star Gord Bamford to perform at next year’s concert, although Bamford’s participation has yet to be confirmed.