Parksville will not participate in B.C. Culture Days events this fall, after city council voted to defer discussions on planning a celebration until the spring.
The decision was made because of time constraints and to take pressure off very busy city staff.
Council, at its June 21 meeting, approved the allocation of up to $50,000 to the McMillan Arts Centre (MAC) and the Parksville Downtown Business Association (PDBA) to plan local events during BC Culture Days. The funds would have come from the city’s COVID relief grant.
BC Culture Days is part of the national Culture Days organization, which puts on free arts and culture events every year from mid-September to mid-October.
Mayor Ed Mayne told council the PBDA’s president informed him the downtown merchants are too busy to help put on an event this year. He said the MAC was still interested in presenting its plans to council.
“I really like the idea, but here we go again. Whatever we do for a celebration like this, the staff are going to be involved,” said Coun. Doug O’Brien.
He added he does not think there is enough time to successfully plan an event in the fall and also expressed concern that residents may not be ready to attend public events, even though many pandemic restrictions have been removed.
“It’s not going to be instant. There’s a lot of apprehension. There’s a lot of hesitation out there that is ingrained in people for the last 18 months,” O’Brien said.
Council voted in favour of deferring the discussion until spring 2022. The city will send a letter to the MAC informing it of council’s decision.