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Elvis festival still needs a host, town working with third applicant

Mayor Brian Saunderson said the town is working with proponents on a 2020 or 2021 festival
Tim E Hendry celebrates his win in the pro-division at Sunday night's competition at the Eddie Bush Memorial Arena. Hendry will represent the Collingwood festival as their champion in the Ultimate Tribute Artist competition in Memphis this August. Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

Collingwood's Elvis Festival has again been passed over by an event organizer.

The town announced at the beginning of this week it was working with a second proponent Jason Sherry Management in the permitting process for an Elvis festival for Collingwood.

On Wednesday, the town posted an update to that announcement saying it was moving down the list again to work with a third applicant after Jason Sherry Management withdrew its application.

The town has not announced the name of the third proponent.

Mayor Brian Saunderson, in an email to CollingwoodToday, said the town was working with proponents to facilitate the festival in 2020 or possibly in 2021.

As of right now, no event permit has been granted.

Last year, council voted to end municipal funding for the annual Collingwood Elvis Festival, which ran for 25 years, most of them as a town-run event.

The plan was for the festival to continue under the operation of a private enterprise, and the town would issue a special event permit for the festival organizers. The permit applications are received and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

In April 2019, the town already had an unsolicited proposal from Gardhouse Enterprises Inc. to take over operation of the festival, and the town received two more proposals after the Gardhouse submission. The town did not release the names of the companies who submitted the other two proposals.

According to town staff, the applicant of a special event permit must meet conditions put forward by the clerk, the parks, recreation and culture department, the fire department, OPP, public works, and the BIA for events in the downtown district. The applicant in the special event permit process is typically asked for traffic management plans, security and emergency plans, noise control plans, and proof of insurance, according to the staff report.

Karen Cubitt, manager of culture and events told council in the spring, the town would also be asking to see proof of the licensing agreement with Elvis Presley Enterprises.

If the first applicant is unable to meet the conditions, staff will not issue a permit, and will move on to the next proposal in queue.

The fee for a special event permit for the Collingwood Elvis Festival would be $750, and the town would also receive revenue from the rental of town-owned facilities and property for the Elvis Festival should a successful applicant be issued a permit.

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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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