Despite the controversy, members of the City of Revelstoke’s Parks, Recreation and Culture committee found themselves with an enviable problem at their Mar. 11 meeting; two different community organizations want to fill downtown with visitors on the May 17–18 weekend, so many it’s a challenge to shoehorn them all in.
As a result of the somewhat controversial Mar. 11 meeting, organizers of the Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market have called off plans to move to Campbell Avenue in front of the BC Liquor Store.
Market organizers submitted the plan to city Parks, Recreation and Culture department officials in the fall of 2013 after a perceived snub would have forced the Saturday market out of Grizzly Plaza on May 17 to make way for a vintage car show. Organizers said that prompted them to find a permanent solution to cramped conditions in Grizzly Plaza.
At the Mar. 11 parks committee meeting, all parties gathered to try to hash out a solution.
Parks director Laurie Donato said a communication error started the issue. A parks staff member, who was not advised properly, emailed market organizers to tell them they couldn’t use Grizzly Plaza during the May 17 car show. Donato said there was “miscommunication in the wording. It was a wrong choice in words, I think, when that email went out.”
She added: “It wasn’t explained well to the staff person who sent it out.” Donato explained the intent had been to explain there is a potential conflict between the two events, with a view to working through the scheduling conflict.
Vintage car show organizer Dennis Berarducci said the Revelstoke Vintage Car Club needs the plaza to host about 20 of the marquee vehicles coming for the big show. He noted it wasn’t a regular Revelstoke club show ‘n’ shine, but a prestigious provincial vintage car tour held in conjunction with the Vintage Car Club of Canada, and that 140 cars are already registered at $350 a pop. Some of the cars scheduled for showing in the plaza are valued at over $1 million, he said.
“The May tour is the largest car show in B.C. and it’s an honour to be asked to host it,” Berarducci said, noting it’s the first time in decades that Revelstoke has been honoured with the opportunity to host.
The May 16–19 event will include museum tours, wine and cheese parties, special car displays, the Saturday show ‘n’ shine, a drive across the Revelstoke Dam and a gondola tour at RMR. Berarducci said three local hotels are already booked up.
“This is a very, very big event. It’s a one-shot deal; it’s not a carry-over until next year.”
And showcasing the best cars in Grizzly Plaza is the organizers’ intent.
Tamaralee Nelles joined other Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market organizers at the Mar. 11 meeting. She said the idea to move to Campbell Avenue had since fallen out of favour. For one, there isn’t an adequate power supply there.
In addition, other groups have objected to the move. Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services objected because Campbell Avenue is the route fire trucks use to get to Victoria Road. Also, the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce listed several concerns in a letter to the parks committee.
Nelles explained the market doesn’t have enough extra vendors to extend up Mackenzie Avenue to Second Street, so they’d like to expand into the parking lot next to the gazebo in Grizzly Plaza, where the public washrooms are located.
As for the May 17 weekend, committee chairperson Gary Starling asked the two parties to hash it out directly. “I think there is a workable solution and a compromise,” he said. The idea of splitting the market between vintage cars and the market was discussed. It was also suggested extending the market into the parking lot for that weekend would be a good trial run.
The committee left it up to the two groups to seek a compromise in the next week or so.
The permanent expansion of the Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market was discussed, but no recommendation came out of the meeting.