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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This photo of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin and her daughter, Lexi, is part of Townsin’s documentary, RARE HUMANS - Turning Hope into Action, her capstone project for her graduate degree from Royal Roads University. (Photo courtesy of Cheryl-Lynn Townsin)
Greater Victoria mother’s grief fuels documentary of ‘Turning Hope into Action’

Lexi, 6, died in 2019 from Blau Syndrome and is among the children documented

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)
Nine dead, hazardous trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

A survey by Statistics Canada finds Black Canadians earn less than non-visible minority Canadians despite having higher levels of education. (The Canadian Press file photo)
COVID-19 worsened unemployment picture for Black Canadians

Black Canadians also more likely to suffer other hardships

The City of Victoria filed a petition with the Supreme Court of B.C. March 2 to have it clarify whether, under the Trustee Act, Beacon Hill Park can be used for temporary sheltering. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria asks court to clarify if Beacon Hill Park can be used for sheltering

City of Victoria filed petition to Supreme Court of B.C. March 2

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read