Our View: Juno bid shouldn’t be difficult decision

Junos had an estimated economic benefit of $12.8 million and created 262 full-time jobs in St. John’s, Nfld. in 2010

You have to wonder if the ongoing attempt to bring the Juno Awards to Greater Victoria in 2014 would have a better chance of success if our city wasn’t split into 13 separate jurisdictions.

The committee behind the Juno pitch is making the rounds at regional council meetings, trying to drum up $450,000 in pledges from local governments by Monday.

The pitch is pretty simple and should be easy enough for individual councils to decide to support. Essentially what it boils down to is organizers asking for $1 for every citizen living in the region outside of the City of Victoria (residents there will pay $2.50 per head). Unfortunately, in an example of too many cooks potentially spoiling the broth, the simple concept is being “tweaked” by councils that want to add their own twist before supporting the bid.

For the most part, it seems, the region’s cities, towns and districts think hosting the musical showcase is a good idea. Saanich has agreed to cough up $100,000 – about $10,000 less than it should, based on population – if Greater Victoria is chosen to host the awards.

Esquimalt has stepped up and will chip in slightly more than the funding formula suggests.

On the West Shore, Colwood has promised to meet the funding formula but other municipalities have retained their right to make up their minds later, even if later is too late. To match the “$1 per capita” needed, the West Shore would have to pony up about $61,000 total.

The Capital Region Music Awards Society is also close to securing $1.5 million from the province, which has apparently said it’s willing to play along if the municipalities come up with their share.

It really shouldn’t be this hard. If you don’t support the bid, say so. But if you’re agreeable then get on board and ante up. And that should be a given, considering the Junos had an estimated economic benefit of $12.8 million and created 262 full-time jobs when the awards were held in St. John’s, Nfld. in 2010. Sure, the actual awards show will be televised from Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre in Victoria. But the week-long festivities leading up to the shows would be spread around the Capital District and be a boon to local acts. Besides, the entire region benefits from the quality and quantity of hotels and attractions available to us in the region’s downtown.

We’re told Winnipeg and Calgary may also be submitting bids and, if they support a bid, it’s unlikely to be nickel-and-dimed as it has been in Greater Victoria.

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