Sicamous council has parked a road closure request for a July show and shine so event organizers may continue consultation with downtown businesses.
At its May 25 meeting, council received a recommendation from District of Sicamous staff to approve closure of Main Street, from Paradise to Riverside avenues, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, to accommodate the 13th Annual Sicamous Show and Shine.
A report to council explained that while the event has taken place in other locations in the past, including Finlayson Park, organizers prefer to hold it downtown “as it supports not only the participants but allows them to include and promote businesses while providing their guests access to amenities during the day.”
At least 200 vehicles are expected to be part of the event.
“The District was provided with a document signed by 12 of the downtown businesses supporting the event, as well as the RCMP, Fire and Ambulance,” reads the report.
While supportive of the event, councillors were concerned not all Main Street businesses owners had been informed regarding the planned road closure or the extent of it.
”I know that this was a big bone of contention last time we shut Main Street, so I did my due diligence this year and I spoke to about six or seven business owners…,” said Coun. Colleen Anderson. “They were asked about sponsorship but not asked or told they were shutting down Main Street.”
Anderson said the Canada Day long weekend is one of the busiest times of year for the businesses owners she spoke with, and she was unwilling to support the proposed road closure.
Coun. Bob Evans suggested a motion to table a decision until the next council meeting, to make sure enough businesses have been informed.
“We just need to make sure that we’ve really got a good sense from our businesses on whether they support it here,” said Evans.
One Main Street business owner at the meeting expressed concern the event would cut off access for deliveries and customers throughout the day. They said the Canada Day long weekend accounts for five per cent of their business.
“I think that maybe it’s the best thing to just table it, let the businesses and the car show work it out, not the District of Sicamous,” commented Coun. Jeff Mallmes. “You guys work it out. You set up your own phone calls and meetings, you come up with a resolution and come back to us.”
Anderson said staff was asked to make sure everyone had done their due diligence, “and now, because we’re not getting the results that some folks want, we’re going to table this?”
“I think the motion on the table is that council approves the closure of Main Street,” said Anderson. “We do or we don’t. If we don’t, then the car show is going to have to find another spot, another space to go to. That’s the question here. It’s not changing the date of the car show, it’s not us being responsible for moving the car show.”
Council voted in support of the motion to table the request. After, Coun. Gord Bushell urged a change to how the district deals with such requests.
“We have to change our process,” said Bushell. “If this is going to come back to council maybe we have to take it on…, dealing with the businesses, because this has happened to us time and time again where somebody says they’ve asked somebody and they didn’t.”
Community services manager Jason Freund explained staff are working on an events program and a process will be in there.
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