City of Charlottetown is not resting on its laurels

Dave Stewart
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Events development officer predicts big year in 2016

Wayne Long, events development officer with the City of Charlottetown, accepts the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance Canadian Sport Tourism Organization of the Year Award in recognition of the city's sport tourism brand SCORE earlier this year. From left are Reggie Lang, representing sponsor WestJet, Long and Jennifer Hedger, representing event host Prestige.

Nurturing a historic relationship with Quebec City is one of the priorities for the City of Charlottetown in 2016.

Fresh off winning the 2015 Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance's tourism organization of the year, the city's events development office isn't resting on its laurels in the year ahead.

Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday in 2017. Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee and Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume have been meeting and will continue to chat in the year ahead about plans for the big celebration.

"The partnership includes a number of heritage, culture and tourism initiatives,'' says Wayne Long, Charlottetown's events development officer.

While 2017 remains a work in progress, the calender for sports tourism events is filling up for the year ahead.

Charlottetown's SCORE brand beat out a number of large cities to win the alliance award, including past winners Edmonton and Toronto. Sports tourism, for example, brings in $40 million annually for the local economy.

Long said event attraction and hosting continues to prosper.

"Our strategic approach to sport tourism will guide us through the next decade and a number of high-profile events have already been secured.''

One of the bigger events in 2016 will be the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's annual session and draft.

But the list includes the CSA under-16 national soccer club championshiops, Softball Canada's under-18 women's fast pitch championship; the CCAA national women's volleyball championship; the Canada East short track speed skating championships; Eastern Canadian Ringette Championship; Sail East Championships; NBA all-star tour and a convention that will bring together all the big players in Atlantic Canada's events industry.

In addition to annual signature events such as the Jack Frost Children's Winterfest as well as festivals that celebrate jazz and blues as well as the shellfish industry, there are numerous high-profile events.

A few of the highlights in 2015 include Rogers Hometown Hockey; the Acadian Games, the under-18 national soccer championships; the national health leadership conference; Transportation Association of Canada Conference and Exhibition; Canadian Society of Internal Medicine annual meeting; May Run Music Festiva; Waterfront Concert Series featuring Kim Mitchell and April Wine and Contact East.

"Charlottetown continues to excel and be recognized nationally as a premiere event-hosting destination,'' Long said.

Organizations: Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, NBA Canadian Society of Internal Medicine Waterfront Concert Series

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Atlantic Canada, Quebec City Edmonton Toronto

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Recent comments

  • jill
    December 28, 2015 - 19:02

    The people of Kensington Road and area would say that the City of Charlottetown certainly are asleep on the job.

  • Laurel Lea
    December 28, 2015 - 15:18

    While I can't comment for the City of Charlottetown, I can clearly state that as Chair of Charlottetown's Special Events Reserve Fund, over $250,000 is invested annually into hosting events (many of which are listed in this story) that bring tourism prosperity and associated benefits to Charlottetown businesses. These dollars do not come from City tax payers, but rather from the Tourism Accommodation Levy collected from guests by Charlottetown-area accommodation providers. Hosting events in this city not only financially benefits the local economy, but adds to quality of life and creates a sense of pride and community engagement for residents through event attendance and participation as volunteers. What we have to remember is that events just don't fall into our lap... the events industry is very competitive and considerable effort and strategy is required on the part of host municipalities in order to attract events to a respective area. Charlottetown's efforts have been recognized nationally on multiple occasions and they should be praised for their commitment to providing opportunities for local businesses and residents, not criticized.

  • Jill Hance
    December 28, 2015 - 14:58

    Kudos to the City of Charlottetown for your leadership and your national award. It sure is easy for others to comment negatively when they do not understand the impact or the bigger picture. Hats off to Charlottetown City Council and staff.

  • city dweller
    December 28, 2015 - 07:38

    gussy boy, - you are pretty sure that the wasteful City activities create tourism and jobs? But you don't know? You drank the Kool-Aid and believe the propaganda by the people who make a living by circulating that propaganda. The Friendship crab with an other City is just that a waste of money and an excuse for somebody to trot around on my dime, pretending it is doing me some good. Get off the planes people, --- remember the environment?? Or does that relevance only apply to the common people, - not "officials".

  • rate payer
    December 28, 2015 - 07:32

    @ElmerMacKinnon, - you get your facts straight. The City dropped a tax concession that had been on for years, and I sure as hell ended up paying almost $ 300.00 more as a result in the fall of this year 2015. This was collected through a special tax bill mailed out on behalf of the City by the Province. Call it what you will, my property taxes paid this year was $ 300.- higher than last year as a result of City Council's action. Check it out, pal.

  • Peter Johnsson
    December 28, 2015 - 06:49

    Seems to me, Elmer MacKinnion is saying: The price of ice cream cones didn't go up at all ... we just made them smaller! To which I ask ... what's the difference ?

  • John Lane
    December 27, 2015 - 14:35

    Cheers Wayne Long.

    December 27, 2015 - 13:29

    How about scrap all that waste of tax dollars for private interests and stop dumping sewage into the Charlottetown Harbour in 2016 .

    • Gussy Boy
      December 27, 2015 - 15:26

      I am pretty sure sure that such activity creates substantial tourism business for our community which in turn generates jobs and new dollars for our province. Trying being positive and ditch the sour grapes, Amazed.

    • AMAZED
      December 28, 2015 - 07:40

      "Pretty sure " this creates minimum wage jobs that fills the pockets of the well heeled who can and should pay for all these tourism initiatives out of their own deep pockets and leave tax payers out of the equation . The rewards back to the community are small bones indeed .

  • City rate payer
    December 26, 2015 - 19:10

    Could somebody tell me what good it did me that Clifford trotted off to Quebec to meet with the Mayor of what ever it was??? Did that put any butter on my bread?? or anybody else's for that matter?? Instead my property taxes went up, thanks to the City discontinuing the rebate., --- because they are grabbing and wasting my money every chance they get, including putting sidewalks in where they are not needed, e.g. Q. Eliz Dr. to Viceroy St. so people can't park safely.

    • Elmer MacKinnion
      December 27, 2015 - 15:38

      City taxes have not increased? Perhaps your provincial assessment has, but City Council has NOT raised taxes. Get the facts.

    • mutt
      December 28, 2015 - 09:15

      City taxes are tied to the assessments. When the assessment goes up so do the city taxes. A sneaky way of increasing the taxes'indirectly'. Nice try.......

    • Clair McCabe
      December 28, 2015 - 21:12

      people. the tax rate does not increase with assessment. tax rates are set by City Council. assessments are set by the province. so while your taxes may rise with an assessment the increase it is not due to the city increasing the municipal rate. there is a difference here. elmer is correct. the city tax rate has not increased since amalgamation in 1995.

    • Clair McCabe
      December 28, 2015 - 21:12

      people. the tax rate does not increase with assessment. tax rates are set by City Council. assessments are set by the province. so while your taxes may rise with an assessment the increase it is not due to the city increasing the municipal rate. there is a difference here. elmer is correct. the city tax rate has not increased since amalgamation in 1995.