Kelowna council not ready to sink parade float

“There’s more to marketing a city than running a float down the road…" Kelowna city manager Ron Mattiussi.

Does the City of Kelowna’s Ogopogo-themed community float, the Spirit of the Lake, help sell the city?

Six members of Kelowna council think so.

A $20,000 proposal to refurbish the float was added to the 2016 city budget Thursday after council debated its merit.

Mayor Colin Basran, and city councillors Brad Seiben and Tracy Gray both opposed elevating the request to the budget for next year and even the city manger chimed in, questioning the float’s relevance as a marketing tool.

But in the end, Ogopogo won out.

Despite a $50,000 upgrade in 2011 that included a new chassis and complete overhaul, city staff said there are some cities that may not let the float participate in their parades next year because it has not been refurbished in four years.

The float participates in approximately 15 to 20 parades annually within the Pacific Northwest and Alberta.

Staff said to keep the parade environment fresh, returning floats are requested to receive a makeover every three years. And they warned the float may be denied access into some of the larger parades in 2016 because it is dated.

But while most on council expressed support for the float and the work it does to advertise the city elsewhere, city manager Ron Mattiussi questioned its relevance in today’s more sophisticated marketing environment.

“There’s more to marketing a city than running a float down the road in Omak, Washington,” said Mattiussi.

He said Kelowna Tourism, which recently launched a slick video advertising campaign for the city, would likely not help fund the float if asked because the float does not fit in with its marketing approach.

But Gail Given was among others who suggested the float not only serves a purpose by appearing elsewhere but also is popular at local parades such as Rutland May Days.

The extra money is needed for the float because some of its components and features are deteriorating and are in need of replacement.

 

Just Posted

Kangaroo Creek Farm hops into season

Lake Country’s popular tourist site has opened its doors for the season

Rain on the way for the Okanagan-Shuswap

Vernon’s dust warning is ongoing

Four people displaced by Taylor Road fire

The Kelowna Fire Department say no one was injured and the cause of the fire is not suspicious

Kelowna patios ready for spring

Check out some local patios that are coming out with the sun

Kelowna golf course ready and open for spring business

Two Eagles Golf Course opened Saturday, more to come

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Kootnekoff: R v. Sidhu, was he asleep?

Driver in Humboldt crash wasn’t distracted at time of collision with bus,… Continue reading

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Okanagan woman launches sewing studio

“I know there’s a lot of people up and down the valley that would love to sew.”

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Letter: Stop raising the minimum wage

To the editor: The government is looking for ways to put more… Continue reading

Most Read