Some things are changing in terms of downtown entertainment after the city passed its 10-year financial plan earlier this month, while some things, council hopes, will remain at least the same, if not expanded.
The first of these changes will come to the CR Live Streets.
The City of Campbell River launched its popular CR Live Streets series in 2016 with three consecutive Wednesday night events in August: a movie night, Chalkfest and an evening market.
Since then, the series has expanded to include a concert night and an Art Battle event, bringing the weekly events to five.
Next year, it will expand again, adding a sixth, still-to-be-determined event to the downtown offerings in the summer.
Council increased the budget for the series from $35,000 to $44,000 in order to add the event next year.
Meanwhile, some concern was raised over the lack of money targeted in the budget under “Spirit Square Programming” after next year. There is $15,000 budgeted for 2020, but nothing in the columns for 2021-2029.
“Are we not planning on having any programming (at Spirit Square) after 2020?” Mayor Andy Adams asked.
“I sure hope we are,” responded city general manager of community development Ron Bowles. “This was a pilot project, so part way through 2020 you will be getting a report from us talking about the success of the pilot, and then next year you can decide if you want to continue.”
In fact, that 2020 funding in the budget was just an addition to the funding that had already been set aside for the programming in the overall operating budget.
“Excellent,” Adams said. “I just wanted to make sure programming wasn’t going to just fall off or disappear. We’re very fortunate that our parks and rec staff – along with Mr. Creighton – and the partnership with the BIA for what goes on there.”