Cornwall winter festival $90K budget approved

Cornwall Parks Division Manager Jamie Fawthrop listens to a question from Coun. Andre Rivette on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 about the upcoming Cornwall winter festival. The city council has approved a $90,000 budget for the party in Lamoureux Park to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The city will be spending up to $90,000 to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this winter.

Coun. Elaine MacDonald’s proposal for the winter light festival in Lamoureux Park will “bookend” the year of Canada’s sesquicentennial.

“Now is the time to act. This will turn the waterfront into a family park…all winter. This is over the top,” Coun. Elaine MacDonald said.

But some councillors were a little bit concerned about the cost. “But $60,000 for lights…that’s almost what I paid for my first house,” Coun. David Murphy quipped. While he likes the idea of the festival, the cost is a troubling point.

The other costs include clearing pedestrian paths, constructing a skating area with heated changing rooms, a toboggan hill and having the canteen and public washrooms open during the festival.

Parks Division Manager Jamie Fawthrop said the city has applied to Ontario 150 for funding for the festival ($70,000) but the municipality won’t know until late this year whether it will be successful.

Coun. Bernadette Clement said the cost is “astronomical” but “it is what it is” in order to do a winter festival. She feels the lights can be used in the future.

If all goes according to plan, the decorative light festival would begin on Nov. 19, 2016 to coincide with the Santa Claus Parade.