Organizers of the 2012 Summer Stomp are frustrated by the cold reception they received at the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board meeting.
Stomp committee president Mike Smith and treasurer Steve Hammer were at the Aug. 16 meeting to present a letter describing their, “23 years of success.”
But enthusiasm was decidedly lacking among board members.
“Did your group not enter into an agreement with the regional district, with conditions you were to follow on how your area was laid out, security, all different things?” asked Area D director Rene Talbot. “And one of the issues was the music was to shut down at midnight.”
Hammer told directors organizers were not about to apologize for breaking the music curfew because it has long been a successful means of keeping people safely on-site for many years.
“There were seven or eight conditions and every single one was done above and beyond – not even up to, but exceeding,” he said frustration creeping in.
Hammer told the board 98 letters of support had been sent to CSRD planning assistant Dan Passmore with a lot of other support being expressed verbally.
“We’re talking about one weekend a year; that’s 51 we won’t be in that valley and we won’t be a bother to anybody – one weekend we’re asking to do a central fire, music until later in the evening keeping people onsite.”
This did not impress Electoral Area F North Shuswap director Larry Morgan.
“I can’t say I was particularly impressed when I heard that it went on to all hours of the night,” he said. “Frankly, I am not prepared to support stomp in the future…”
Area C South Shuswap interim director Jack McInaly was succinct in his condemnation.
“I’m looking at this pretty simply; you signed a contract that had the noise cut off at midnight because noise was an issue in the past several years,” he said. “You broke that contract, why should we give you another one?”
Area E Sicamous director Rhona Martin, who said she had heard positive comments about the event, wanted to know where attendees had come from and what economic benefit the event provided to the area.
Smith reported that the event lost money this year and that the shortfall was made up out of the organizers’ own personal funds. In terms of attendees, Hammer reported that some 75 per cent of the 1,500 on-site came from other areas and provided economic benefit through their purchases of food and other items.
Smith noted that the fights and vandalism that take place after area bars close do not happen at the stomp.
“This does not happen at the Summer Stomp because we don’t shut it off at midnight,” he said, slapping his hands for emphasis. “Yes, we defied the contract, but we did it for a reason and I am not apologizing for it. We were right in doing what we did.”
Smith asked directors to consider hosting a community meeting in Silver Creek before deciding on the future of the stomp.
“They have a reason to be upset, but so do we,” said Smith. “If we had gone back to the June meeting saying we can’t sign this with the midnight agreement because it makes our event unsafe to host… we believe Mr. Talbot would have said ‘sayonara, it’s been a pleasure not doing business with you.’”
Frustrated that none of the positive aspects of the stomp were brought up at the board meeting, Smith says organizers will host a community meeting in Silver Creek in September.
“We’re gonna invite those in favour or not in favour,” said Hammer. “Even though we don’t think we’ll sway Mr. Talbot, we want people to voice their concerns and accolades.”