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Council votes to end Elvis funding, defers future plans

Council votes to discontinue the Collingwood Elvis Festival as a municipally-funded event.
Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

Collingwood council voted unanimously to put an end to the Collingwood Elvis Festival as a municipally-run event.

The vote took place this evening, April 8, during a council meeting.

“I think the people have spoken, and they don’t want [Collingwood Elvis Festival] to be a municipally-funded event anymore,” said Coun. Bob Madigan.

The future of the festival is uncertain, however. The town did receive an unsolicited proposal from a private enterprise (Gardhouse Enterprises Inc.) interested in taking over the festival and running it in Collingwood beginning in 2020. A staff recommendation before council tonight suggested supporting the transition of the festival to the private enterprise by sharing information and helping them plan the event.

Council voted to defer the two recommendations related to a private enterprise taking over the event until the next Corporat and Community Services Meeting (scheduled for May 6). Madigan, who initiated the deferral said he is waiting for more information from staff before supporting a private-run event. He said the event has "massive value." 

"When we hand this off, we want to make sure they are capable," said Madigan. 

Coun. Kathy Jeffery said she wanted more information and more time to make a decision on who would take over the festival and how that transition would work.

“This is a very valuable brand,” said Jeffery. “There is an Elvis brand, and there is also a Collingwood brand. There’s a huge amount of goodwill that has already been established and has a value.”

Regarding the funding allocated for Collingwood Elvis Festival, council voted to have staff bring back a report during the 2020 budget deliberations so council can make a decision on where to spend the money saved by not funding the festival.

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 15 years of experience as a local journalist
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