City eyes hosting Island conflab

The city has its eye on hosting 51 local governments at one of the largest conventions staged annually across coastal B.C.

Council endorsed applying to host the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities in either 2015 or 2016 in an effort to showcase Campbell River to several other local governments.

“As hosts the City of Campbell River would be responsible to provide meeting facilities to AVICC including venues, set-up and janitorial services,” said Tracy Bate, deputy city clerk, in a report to council.

It would also be responsible for accommodating up to 250-275 delegates.

The only facilities large enough to hold that many people are the Community Centre or the Sportsplex. Bate said that she expects both would be needed in order to host the conference and the banquet.

AVICC, the longest-established area association under the umbrella of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), holds an annual convention to “deal with issues and concerns that affect large urban areas to small rural communities,” Bate said.

City staff estimate that the cost to hold the convention would be up to $12,000 for staff time, meeting facilities, decorations, gifts for speakers, as well as a $1,600 contingency fund for any unexpected costs.

Coun. Ryan Mennie said his only concern is over crowing in the city.

“At the same time I think this is a fantastic idea, I hate to think of the logistics of 2015 or 2016 and the Hydro project (at John Hart Generating Station) and the new hospital project will be well underway,” Mennie said.

“I wonder what the onus would be on us to provide accommodation?”

Coun. Claire Moglove, a director-at-large for AVICC, said it shouldn’t be a problem.

“It would require three nights accommodation in April,” Moglove said. “We will have the space available albeit we will be very busy with those other projects going on.”

In the end, council voted unanimously to have city staff submit an application for Campbell River to host the AVICC annual convention in either 2015 or 2016.

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