Final preparations are underway in anticipation of the 2018 Collingwood Elvis Festival.
However, one former event will be missing again. The popular Collingwood Elvis Festival Classic Car Parade was eliminated from last year’s lineup and won’t be returning for 2018.
The festival continues to find ways to trim costs while maximize staffing resources and once again the parade is a casualty.
On October 16, 2017, Collingwood Council voted in favour of moving forward with the Collingwood Elvis Festival for another two years.
Organizers of the Collingwood Elvis Festival had to face some hard facts in 2016.
You could easily conclude that the festival was suffering from its own success.
Dean Collver, Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture for the Town of Collingwood, presented a staff report to Council that identified some strengths and risks associated with the long time summer event.
“In 2016 staff presented a report to Council that identified some key risks associated with the Collingwood Elvis Festival and how it was working at that time. The obvious (and much publicized) risk is financial as the vast majority of total event revenues are dependent upon ticket sales from the arena shows. With the amount of infrastructure and entertainment that is committed to the street festival, the sale of tickets to the indoor activity are critical but subject to the same risks that tickets everywhere face – weather, competing events, cyclical purchasing patterns, and so on.”
the scope of the festival had crept beyond our capacities to manage and still take care of concerns regarding public safety, occupational health and safety, and customer service.
— Dean Collver, Director Parks, Recreation and Culture, Town of Collingwood
Collver said one option could have been to eliminate the street festival portion. He quickly added that the street festival is perceived to be the largest driver of economic impact and also the most popular aspect for local residents.
“Staff also identified in that 2016 report, that the scope of the festival had crept beyond our capacities to manage and still take care of concerns regarding public safety, occupational health and safety, and customer service. A number of “near miss” issues in 2016 prompted a serious look at how the festival was laid out and how many balls we were juggling at the expense of proper attention to the safety of that many people.”
Collver said with Council’s approval, the objective of the Collingwood Elvis Festival was shifted from focusing on the bottom line to being committed to economic impact outcomes.
“Having said that, it was also clear that we needed to continue to do everything in our power to manage the financial risks responsibly. To manage the risks associated with the vast scope of programming, we needed to make tough choices about reducing the programming of the festival.”
Collver said taking all of these findings and decisions into consideration, it was decided to discontinue the Saturday morning Classic Car Parade.
“It requires a fair amount of costs tied to a police presence for traffic control, the management of a large number of volunteers, and resources to plan that could be applied to other areas of the festival.”
A number of interested parties have approached the Collingwood Elvis Festival/Town of Collingwood wanting to see the parade return, without results.
“We have been very supportive of these proposals in terms of willingness to including it in our overall event program, marketing the parade alongside other Elvis features, and even promoting 3rd sponsorship that others may have acquired to support the parade – so far, no one has been able to gather enough resources independently to assume the cost, risk, and manpower required.”
Don’t rule the parade out for next year. Collver says the festival’s committee is still very much open to discussions with anyone wanting to, as he said, pick up that ball and run with it.
The 2018 festival will continue to provide outstanding entertainment and family fun. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
A Look Back at the Elvis Festival Classic Car Parade in Downtown Collingwood
This year’s Collingwood Elvis Festival runs from July 27th to 29th.
CLICK HERE to visit collingwoodelvisfestival.com to learn more about entertainment, shows, events and happenings at this year’s festival.
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