Welcome to the [insert corporate name here] Victoria Conference Centre

City explores whether citizens willing to sell naming rights to major public assets

If the naming rights to Victoria’s sports arena nets taxpayers $125,000 per year, would it be a good idea to seek a similar deal for its conference centre?

It’s a question Victoria residents will soon get a formal opportunity to weigh in on.

Coun. Marianne Alto has been leading the charge on the issue of naming rights, but it hasn’t been easy.

“It’s going to be a very tough road to hoe,” she said. While she admits it’s not a popular idea, Alto said “we have an obligation to consider all ideas.”

In a draft policy she crafted, she names the conference centre, Crystal Pool and the new Johnson Street Bridge as possible public facilities that lend themselves to sponsored naming.

In a tough economic time, these sponsorships “are possible ongoing revenue sources that can complement tax revenue,” wrote Alto.

At a governance-and-priorities committee meeting last week, staff recommended hiring a broker to pursue a sponsor for the conference centre, a facility which required a $764,954 tax subsidy this year.

Staff, however, recommended against spending time developing a city-wide policy governing the sale of naming rights.

“Staff expect that the Victoria Conference Centre is the only lucrative venue for naming rights (within) the City,” wrote Rob Woodland, director of legislative services. “Victoria is a relatively small market with few high-profile city facilities.”

Council voted to bring the issue to the public for debate before making any decisions.

This debate has already started informally through an online petition.

“The naming of public places in a city is one of the fundamental ways that geographic spaces are imbued with meaning to express the cultural values of a community,” wrote the petition’s creator, Reuben Rose-Redwood.

“By viewing public place names strictly in terms of their cash value, this sends a message to residents and visitors alike that the symbolic identity of the city is up for sale.”

As of Sunday, 69 people had signed the petition. See it online by typing “naming rights” in the search bar at change.org.

rholmen@vicnews.com

Just Posted

MISSING: Victoria police looking for ‘high-risk’ missing woman Clarissa Adamick

Adamick was last seen on July 12 and may be in the downtown Victoria area

Greater Victoria to see all 10 of the electric buses announced by federal-provincial governments

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $79 million in joint funding for 118 new buses across B.C.

Gate at Mount Douglas Park smashed on Wednesday night

It is suspected that a motorist drove through after being locked in after 11 p.m.

Canadians may experience EpiPen shortage, says Health Canada

The EpiPen Jr is not affected by this shortage

Turf field project at Esquimalt High School awaits government response

The Es-Whoy-Malth Community Field Collaborative would see new fields and a clubhouse installed

Fashion Fridays: 5 casual summer dress styles

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read