Alberta Mirror

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Edmonton requires a nighttime financial plan, industry advocates say

Alberta

Key takeaways: 

  • City councilors heard music platforms; clubs struggle with problems after business hours.
  • Advocates say that Edmonton requires a designated office or person to help facilitate hospitality and entertainment industries and manage after-hours issues.

Edmonton’s nighttime entertainment and hospitality platforms require more help if the city is going to host significant events like the Juno Awards next year, industry advocates say. 

At a meeting on Wednesday, venue operators and business organizations called city councilors and administration to make a particular office or person to help the nighttime industry directly. 

Puneeta McBryan, executive director of the Downtown Business Association, said the city’s present financial development staff are overstretched on daytime operations alone and noted that nighttime industries need support. 

“Reliable resources to this are important,” McBryan told the council’s executive committee. “We’re losing platforms. If we haven’t already lost them, we stake losing them.”

McBryan said the possible venue gap affects her as Edmonton prepares to host the Juno Awards the following year. 

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Edmonton’s nighttime entertainment and hospitality platforms require more help if the city is going to host significant events like the Juno Awards next year, industry advocates say

“I’m genuinely anxious about how many off-site venues we even have to host music events in our downtown,” she said. 

Ward papastew Coun. Michael Janz said he backed the idea of a nighttime financial office and repeated McBryan’s worries about whether Edmonton will have sufficient areas for the Junos next year. 

“One of the best parts about the Junos is not the honors, it’s the three weeks before and three weeks after when all the visiting artists are arriving in and jamming out,” Janz stated. 

Brent Oliver, a venue programmer and ex-manager of several music outlets in Edmonton, talked to the committee regarding the Junos and said the event requires almost a dozen spaces.

“It will probably be a stretch to attempt and get 11 or 12 venues at this point, and to try and also keep it walkable, I think, is essential, which would mean trying to stay downtown,” he said. 

Source – cbc.ca

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