Victoria’s bid for Junos needs help

Group running out of time to secure funding from Capital Region municipalities

The deadline for Victoria to bid on hosting the 2014 Juno Awards is fast approaching.

Bid committee organizers will be making their pitch for support at municipal council meetings around the Capital Region in hopes of securing financial commitments.

For committee member and Victoria city councillor Chris Coleman, it’s about marketing the regional benefits of the event.

Hosting the Junos involves much more than the one-time televised event at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre.

“Locally, we’re more interested in how we spread the different components around the region,” Coleman said. He envisions week-long celebrations to showcase local talent.

The bid committee seeks to secure approximately $1.5 million from the province and $450,000 from local municipalities by the end of April, according to the initial expression of interest.

Because of the competitive nature of the bid, exact numbers aren’t being released. Winnipeg and Calgary may also be submitting bids, Coleman said.

The B.C. government is looking at supporting Victoria’s bid, on condition of municipal investment, he added.

Whether municipalities have the desire to spend during a time of fiscal restraint is the next pressing question.

“The only option I can anticipate would be to defer or disapprove,” said Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard.

“I think our taxpayers would want to know what the business plan is that would justify (more) property taxes.”

rholmen@vicnews.com