Welcome to the [insert corporate name here] Victoria Conference Centre

City explores whether citizens willing to sell naming rights to major public assets

If the naming rights to Victoria’s sports arena nets taxpayers $125,000 per year, would it be a good idea to seek a similar deal for its conference centre?

It’s a question Victoria residents will soon get a formal opportunity to weigh in on.

Coun. Marianne Alto has been leading the charge on the issue of naming rights, but it hasn’t been easy.

“It’s going to be a very tough road to hoe,” she said. While she admits it’s not a popular idea, Alto said “we have an obligation to consider all ideas.”

In a draft policy she crafted, she names the conference centre, Crystal Pool and the new Johnson Street Bridge as possible public facilities that lend themselves to sponsored naming.

In a tough economic time, these sponsorships “are possible ongoing revenue sources that can complement tax revenue,” wrote Alto.

At a governance-and-priorities committee meeting last week, staff recommended hiring a broker to pursue a sponsor for the conference centre, a facility which required a $764,954 tax subsidy this year.

Staff, however, recommended against spending time developing a city-wide policy governing the sale of naming rights.

“Staff expect that the Victoria Conference Centre is the only lucrative venue for naming rights (within) the City,” wrote Rob Woodland, director of legislative services. “Victoria is a relatively small market with few high-profile city facilities.”

Council voted to bring the issue to the public for debate before making any decisions.

This debate has already started informally through an online petition.

“The naming of public places in a city is one of the fundamental ways that geographic spaces are imbued with meaning to express the cultural values of a community,” wrote the petition’s creator, Reuben Rose-Redwood.

“By viewing public place names strictly in terms of their cash value, this sends a message to residents and visitors alike that the symbolic identity of the city is up for sale.”

As of Sunday, 69 people had signed the petition. See it online by typing “naming rights” in the search bar at change.org.


Just Posted

Edibles sidelined in proposed amendments to Cannabis Act

Health Canada says edible regulation is still more than a year away

Stolen East Sooke puppies returned

Plight of other Sooke Region animals good and bad

North Saanich park doesn’t make the high priority cut

District finalizes its Strategic Plan, a list of municipal priorities

It’s complicated: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps breaks up with Facebook

“I’m quitting Facebook so I stop contributing in any way to this cycle of psychological violence where fear and anger get more air time than joy”

New leader aims to grow Oak Bay Volunteer Services

About 200 volunteers offer about 500 residents with support services

Mainroad crews cleaning up after winter

Motorists warned to be on the lookout for roadside workers

Lower water pressure, discolouration expected Friday in Gorge-Tillicum area

McKenzie interchange work could affect water for up to a week

The most “Victoria” way to watch baseball?

HarbourCats fans can now watch games from double-decker buses

Where Canadians buy real estate abroad: report

Hot Spots: Top 30 home-buying destinations for Canadians in the Americas

Ban on grizzly bear hunt, new rules take effect April 1

Taxidermists, tanners will have to report on any grizzly bears or parts brought to them

BREAKING: Cassie Sharpe adds world championship to Olympic gold

Mount Washington skier defends her crown in France, wins overall halfpipe title

Ontario father grief stricken over murder of ex-wife and children

‘No words to explain,’ grieving father of slain teens says in statement

Russian Embassy calls Trudeau’s criticism of Putin unproductive

The Russian Embassy is firing back at Trudeau for criticizing President Vladimir Putin

Most Read