Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to the many people on Main Street during the 2017 Downtown Penticton Association (DPA) Santa Clause Parade. The DPA is looking to partner with the City of Penticton in offering this event and more in order to share the costs. Mark Brett/Western News

DPA looking to partner with City of Penticton for civic events

The association spends $141,000 annually on Canada Day, Santa Clause Parade and other celebrations

The Downtown Penticton Association is looking for an increased partnership with the city when it comes to planning community events.

The association plans and executes multiple events including Canada Day, B.C. Day and Santa Claus Parade celebrations. In a presentation to council on March 5 during committee of the whole, members of the DPA said that the association “does not want to see these events drop” but is looking to share the burden of the costs.

“The biggest and most expensive events that the DPA offers is our civic events,” said Lynn Allin, DPA executive director.“When we come up with a new event or initiative, the question the board always asks is how it will benefit the membership. How does having a Canada Day event actually benefit the business community? And the benefits aren’t black and white on this.”

Allin said while the DPA receives limited funding through the city and federal grants, the bulk of the cost of these events comes out of the DPA’s operations. Allin said the DPA’s main source of income is its membership fee and the community market, which runs weekly from May to September.

“The city does put in for $4,500 per year for the cost of Canada Day,” said Allin. “And $1,100 for B.C. Day and $8,000 for Rock the Sun. Historically, the money has always gone into operations and operations has always covered the cost of running the civic events, plus regular operation of the DPA.”

Related: Penticton businesses look to stay busy during slow season

Mayor John Vassilaki was concerned with the actual budget breakdown for each event, so that council could have as much information as possible when making a decision whether to help fund them.

Allin said she can provide the breakdown but in total, the association spends approximately $141,000 annually on civic events (based on 2018 numbers). Even with current funding help from the city and federal grants, the bill comes out to about $111,555 for the association.

“I’m sure city council doesn’t want to see any of these items dropped. It wouldn’t be very good for the community for one thing, so what I would like to get (the budget breakdowns) to staff,” said Vassilaki. “And my personal preference would be to refer this to city staff so they can bring us a recommendation at the next meeting.”

“We believe the city needs to have these events, and we are willing to work with the city to at least have a way this year and next year to bring them to the community,” responded Allin. “But we are a business organization, and if the city has a different way it would like to bring forward civic events…we are happy to pass the binders and let it go onto somebody else.”

Ryan Graham, president of the DPA board, reiterated that the association recognizes the importance of these events for the community.

“These events are important to our city as a whole. For us, we want to continue with them moving forward, but there has to be a partnership,” said Graham. “The DPA wants to go in with these events know that the city is our partner with them and that we can continue giving them.”

Coun. Judy Sentes reminded council that it could be potentially more expensive for the city to take over these events entirely. Sentes noted staff time with the city is unionized and DPA members are paid “well below that” for their efforts.

“I’ve been involved with the DPA as a city liaise for a number of years, and before that as a volunteer,” said Sentes. “I’m not entirely certain that giving a full breakdown of all the costs would really be that beneficial. From my perspective, if you were to have the city take over these events, the costs would be significantly higher I’d like to suggest.

“It’s interesting, for years our city has taken recognition for these wonderful events, when in fact, our contribution has been significantly low. The DPA is just raising to our attention and resolution that they’ve been doing this, but it means there’s no money left to do things for their own membership.”

Council will receive a recommendation from staff about this proposed partnership and funding request at the next regular meeting on March 19.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
JordynThomson 
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

10th year for Great Naramata Cherry Pit Contest

The event is a fun-filled way to celebrate the local harvest

Man arrested in Kelowna following Shuswap vehicle thefts, pursuit

Suspect wanted in Alberta allegdly also stole several vehicles near Sicamous over the weekend

Boy’s best friend gets help from South Okanagan community

Community rallies around dog that needed surgery for two broken legs

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: mix of sun and clouds

Environment Canada is predicting a 30 per cent chance of showers and a risk of thunderstorms this afternoon across the Okanagan

Private viewing for Elijah-lain Beauregard to be held in Penticton

Afterwards, there will be a celebration of life next to the Okanagan Lake,

West Kelowna vet saves turtle from hook

Dr. Moshe Oz removed fish hook lodged in the turtle’s throat

Collision with hydro pole cuts power to thousands in the Shuswap

Minor injuries to the driver were reported; power was restored by the following morning

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Parking price hike could free up spots in downtown Kelowna

By-the-hour parking in evenings aimed to boost vehicle turnover in popular spots

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Nine kittens and cats rescued after being locked in bins in northern B.C.: SPCA

SPCA says cats were starving, and matted with feces and urine

Guess Who has started a band in the Shuswap? Legendary guitarist Donnie McDougall

Band to play pair of shows in Sicamous area before setting out on tour

Most Read