News Local

Lumberjack could see up to $25K deficit

By Kevin Anderson, The Northern Times

 KAPUSKASING - The Town of Kapuskasing is looking at two possible budgets for the annual Lumberjack Heritage Festival des Bûcherons, one of which is a break-even prospect based on a $90,000 allocation, while the other is projected to show a loss of up to $25,000.


The discrepancy between the two budgets comes as a result of the potential lack of availability of Beauce Carnival for this year’s festival dates.


“Without a carnival the number of admissions is expected to drop drastically,” said Town of Kapuskasing CAO, Guylain Baril. “With the carnival comes more kids and by extension more adults coming to the park for the festival. With the carnival, we’re anticipating 2,000 kids and 4,000 adults. Without a carnival we’re anticipating 1,500 kids and only 3,000 adults. More people means more revenue and a lower deficit.”


The two projected budgets are based on 20 years of data collected from the festival, although Baril admitted that the calculations are more of a “best guess” rather than solid figures.


“Those are only assumptions that are easy to poke holes in because of the number of variables involved,” said Baril. “For example, you could argue weather will have more impact on the festival than existence of or lack of a carnival. There is also the matter of sponsorship, which changes from year to year. We have to budget based on our understanding of the past data.”


Council has decided the festival will go on as planned and has instructed staff to try to find another carnival to replace Beauce for this year or alternatively for other forms of entertainment.


It should be noted that neither of the budgets have any money allocated for “Arena Entertainment and Production”, meaning there will be no concert at the arena on Saturday night as had been the custom in previous years.


Several councillors remarked that the poor turnout for last year’s concert featuring The Trews and Bleeker, two of the biggest “name” acts for the festival in quite some time, for the decision to do away with that part of the budget.