Jon Willing - July 5th, 2012
Equine Canada, the “national voice of the horse,” has caught up to the issue of the city pulling out of the Nepean National Equestrian Park.
Here is the organization’s press release sent this afternoon:
Equine Canada is alarmed to learn that the Nepean National Equestrian Park, the only municipally run equestrian park of its kind in Canada, could be closing as early as the end of this year.
‘The Park’ as it has affectionately become known, has served the community well since opening its doors in 1986 by the former City of Nepean. It has provided an opportunity for children and adults alike to experience the wonder of horses and to learn a sport which often becomes a life-long passion. It has made the sport more broadly accessible to the urban enthusiast, and for that we are very thankful and appreciative.
As the national ‘voice of the horse’ and the sport in Canada, we know firsthand how intrinsic these kinds of facilities are to the long-term development of our sport and our athletes. Many Ottawa-area citizens, including many in the disabled community, have learned how to ride at the Park, were able to compete at the Park and then returned to volunteer in one of the many shows throughout the years.
The Park also provided a wonderful venue from which world-class showing Jumping, Eventing, Dressage and Para- dressage competitions could be held, and enjoyed by the citizens of Ottawa. These events also brought in valuable visitor dollars to our city.
We believe the Nation’s Capital is the right place for a world-class equestrian facility and strongly hope and encourage the National Capital Commission to keep the Park a welcoming place for horses, riders, coaches and show organizers. We would welcome an opportunity to offer whatever assistance we can, in its efforts.
Jon Willing - November 10th, 2011
A potential non-competitive deal to tell you about.
The new Kanata North recreation complex is set to become the “Richcraft Recreation Complex – Kanata” after the developer offered $500,000 for the naming rights.
A steering committee for the complex has been looking to sell the naming rights to pay for some goodies at the facility, such as two more lanes to the pool and enhancements to the skate park. The 95,000-sq.-ft. complex on Innovation Dr. will break ground next month and be complete by September 2013.
It’s been more than year since this idea to sell naming rights on the complex came up, but it wasn’t until last month that the city received a formal offer from Richcraft to buy the rights. If the community and protective services committee and council approve this report, Richcraft will have the naming rights for 15 years with an option to renew in 2026.
Selling the naming rights without having a competition is allowed, the legal department says, under conditions under the corporate sponsorship and advertising policy. Those conditions include things like a “unique” sponsorship opportunity, there’s only one “suitable” sponsor identified and the need is “justified in a business case.”
Without having a competition for the naming rights at the new Kanata rec centre, we don’t really know how much the sponsorship could go for on the market. Is $33,000 per year for 15 years a good sponsorship deal for the city?
What we do know is, the steering committee has been looking for $500,000 from the naming rights and someone is willing to pay it.
Jon Willing - October 14th, 2011
Cumberland Coun. Stephen Blais last month asked staff how much it cost to print flyers to promote the recreation activity guide, which is now only printed online. I think it was his way of showing the irony of using hard-copy resources to direct people to the Internet.
Blais has received his answer. It cost $48,996.
The breakdown, according to the official response:
Daily Newspaper promotion $14,189
Weekly Newspaper promotion $12,437
Radio promotion $5,460
Cinema still ads $5,866
Interior Bus Cards $3,760
Community magazines $2,525
Promotion Cards and Posters for On-line English and French Guides $2,159
Facebook advertising $1,400
Printed copies of 50+ section of on-line guide – $1,200
Recreation Centre Plasma Screen Ads – No cost
Digital Billboard Ads – No cost
Staff note the city saved $95,000 this year by not printing the recreation guide, but they aren’t willing to put facility and program-specific guides online.
And it looks like the city wants to put more emphasis on those specific guides, even making them better in hopes it attracts more advertising.
So, it doesn’t look like the city will be phasing out all hard-copy recreation guides, not in the short term, anyway.
Jon Willing - October 12th, 2011
Well, Coun. Tim Tierney wasn’t kidding when he said the Pine View Golf Course website is a bit shoddy.
“The website is a big sticking point for me,” Tierney said today as we discussed the future of the golf course.
He’s on the golf course’s board of management and he’s the chairman of City Hall’s information and technology subcommittee.
For a golf course, the website’s usability isn’t that bad.
But, wow, the inconsistencies between the prices on the English and French websites. If you want to play golf at Pine View, I suggest you cite the the French website for prices when you’re in the pro shop.
I screen-clipped these today:
Eighteen holes on the championship course Monday to Thursday, according to English website, is $36.28. On the French website it’s $35.00 Monday to Friday.
The French website says the prices include taxes. The English website says those prices don’t include taxes.
I won’t even talk about the banquet menus.
It’s clear the French website has been collecting dust. Former councillors — Bellemare, Jellett, Hunter, Leadman — are still listed on the board of management, while the English website is completely up to date.
Jon Willing - September 22nd, 2011
Time to get those last Frisbee throws in on City Hall’s front lawn before the construction machines move in.
The Rink of Dreams project remains on schedule for a December opening and the groundbreaking is expected next week, a city spokesman tells me. The contractors have been hired and site preparation is only days away.
A delay for the groundbreaking hasn’t slipped up the project. The grass was originally scheduled to be dug up in August, but those plans created big problems for Capital Pride, which has used Marion Dewer Plaza for the annual celebration. The city put off the rink work to accommodate Pride.
The city will want to have everything in order in time for NHL all-star weekend Jan. 28-29. The new refrigerated rink has been touted as a possible venue for some all-star-related activities.