Council waives fees for concert

Tom Jackson benefit concert comes to Cleland Theatre Dec. 10

  • Oct. 20, 2011 6:00 a.m.

The show must go on — and with waived fees as well.

Penticton council overturned a staff recommendation on renting the Cleland Theatre to organizers of a Tom Jackson benefit concert set to return this winter, opting to waive the $835 fee.

In 2009, council granted use of the Cleland to stage Singing for Supper, a national Christmas concert tour organized by Tom Jackson. The concert raised food and funds for food banks across the country, and expenses were covered so proceeds could benefit the Salvation Army food bank and Soupateria. More than $8,000 was raised and shared by the two organizations.

Jackson has since organized another Christmas show, ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime, and two stops are scheduled in B.C.: Vernon on Dec. 8 and Penticton on Dec. 10. Organizers were seeking the same $835 rental fee and technical cost be waived.

Doug Leahy, the city’s chief financial officer, however, recommended council deny the application.

“The city contributes to many non-profit and charitable organizations via the permissive tax exemption process as well as civic grants,” he wrote in his report. “The city remains in a very difficult financial position and is reviewing all options for reducing expenditures.”

“The cause is certainly worthy,” Coun. Garry Litke said in moving the staff recommendation be dismissed.

“This benefit will help a lot of people in the community,” Coun. John Vassilaki said.

Council unanimously approved the fee waiver and subsequent amendment to the budget.