The Penticton Trade and Convention Centre is looking to stir up some new business with a bid to host the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in 2018.
The FCM board of directors meetings require a host municipality in March or September to welcome about 150 attendees for three to four days of meetings.
“We’ve done an assessment of the event requirements and found the convention centre facility can accommodate their needs,” said Paul O’Beirn, director of sales for the city-owned convention centre. To submit a bid he said the PTCC would need an endorsement from the City of Penticton and a commitment to pay some of the costs.
O’Beirn said the city would need to provide about $27,000, for transportation, computer equipment and IT support as well as hosting a welcome reception in the form of a cocktail/dinner event. That event alone, O’Beirn valued at up to $18,000.
The value of hosting the event, O’Beirn, explained would include not only the economic impact but the opportunity to integrate discussions of local concerns into the national debate on municipal issues.
The economic benefits would also be substantial. O’Beirn estimated the delegates could account for 600 room nights — about $200,000 value — and they could be expected to spend in the range of $300 per day.
It would also be another opportunity to showcase Penticton, the PTCC and its location.
“There are over 20 provincial and territorial associations that are FCM members that potentially could influence conventions coming into Penticton,” said O’Beirn. “An example would be the Cement Association of Canada.”
Mayor Andrew Jakubeit asked whether they would be looking for other community partners to help fund the host community investment.
“So, come 2018, we may not be funding that whole $25,000? We would be committing to putting a bid in and understanding the financial portion and making sure that obligation is met?” said Jakubeit.
Coun. Helena Konanz was surprised at the extent of the requirements.
“We always like to have conventions come, especially in the shoulder season,” said Konanz. “I am surprised FCM would require that much input from the community when it is only 150 delegates coming.”
“The criteria for the selection process is quite vague. It is very basic requirements to see if the local community can host the event,” said O’Beirn. “They don’t even give us specific dates, other than September or March. A lot of the information is fairly vague, they just want to find out if we could host something like this.”
Council unanimously voted in favour of supporting the bid.