You won’t likely see a flashing corporate sign on the roof of Kelowna city hall, but the city council is being asked to consider a new policy to deal with advertising and sponsorships of city programs and facilities.
The policy, to be discussed by council Monday at its weekly public meeting, could bring in as much as $800,000 per year in revenue, says the report to go to council. That would be on top of the $750,000 the city already takes in from advertising at the airport and through the transit system, as well as sponsorships of two major city events—the annual civic awards and Bike To Work Week.
Only city owned and operated facilities would be included. That means the Rotary Centre for the Arts—owned by the city but run by a local group—would be excluded, as would public-private partnership facilities like the Capital News Centre.
Jodie Foster, communication supervisor for the city, said the key to a successful policy would be finding corporate sponsors that match up well with the people who use the facilities that they want to sponsor. She also said that entire buildings would not necessarily have to be sponsored, facilities with in the building could carry sponsorships.
“We would need to strike a balance,” she said.
The new policy, if approved, would start off with a five-year pilot project pending council approval in the 2017 city budget. Budget deliberations for next year’s financial plan are expected to take place next month.
The budget proposal would call for the hiring a new city employee to shepherd the program and the policy would have benchmark targets for the hiring of two more city staffers for the program by the time it hits the five-year mark.
Foster said the program would be expected to raise $150,000 by year two and at that point a second staffer would be hired pending council budget approval at that time. When the program reached $500,000 in revenue, a third new staffed could be hired, said Foster.
The proposed new policy would leave the handling of contracts under $500,000 to city staff while contracts over $500,000 would require council approval.
The new policy would be the first overarching sponsorship and advertising policy for the city, and would follow the lead of large and small municipalities across the country.