The not-for-profit society behind the Concord Pacific-sponsored new year’s eve fireworks festival owes Vancouver city hall more than $40,000, theBreaker.news has learned.
The Vancouver New Year’s Eve Celebration Society announced on Hallowe’en that it would not ring-in 2020 with a bang at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Instead, it pledged Concord’s New Year’s Eve Vancouver would return on Dec. 31, 2020 in eastern False Creek. A news released mentioned plans for a bigger, better fireworks display next year, but did not mention the society’s finances.
City hall spokeswoman Ellie Lambert told theBreaker.news that City of Vancouver invoiced the society $41,560 last June for traffic management and engineering operational support.
“The invoice had been sent to the NYE Society and we are awaiting payment,” Lambert said.
Standard terms are payment within 30 days. No interest has been charged to date, she said. Taxpayers took care of the $60,016 in policing costs.
Vancouver Convention Centre was the host venue on Dec. 31, 2018-Jan. 1, 2019. In addition to the free outdoor spectacle, organizers sold passes to indoor events for $59 to $159.
B.C. Pavilion Corporation spokesman Duncan Blomfield declined to release the amount owing.
“We can confirm PavCo did not provide a grant for the event,” Blomfield said.
theBreaker.news sought an interview with Dani Pretto, the society’s chair. Instead, spokeswoman Heather McKenzie-Beck sent a statement that said the new venue at False Creek will offer more opportunities for revenue and long-term financial stability.
“We’re currently working closely with our partners and stakeholders to ensure that there is a plan in place for any balances that are currently outstanding, and look forward to putting on yet another free community celebration in 2020/21,” McKenzie-Beck said.
The society originally planned to launch Dec. 31, 2014, but organizers fell $100,000 short of meeting their $300,000 goal. When they started 2016 with a blast, they laid claim to the largest public new year’s eve event in Canada. A year later, the federal agency behind Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations kicked-in $226,000.
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