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REPORTING · 8th May 2010
Walter McFarlane
Dianne Desserault, representing the Association of Francophones and Francophiles Du Nord Oust (AFFNO) took the stand at the City Council Meeting of Monday, May 3rd to speak about the upcoming Winter Festival for 2011.

“We’re making a Winter Festival again in 2011 and this year [it will] be bigger, as we have more people coming from outside the town. We would love to have the abilty to use the ice rink facility which is going to be closed so if it would be possible to keep it open. The idea is to have it to make some ice sculptures,” said Desserault.

She pointed out during the time of year they usually have the Winter Festival, the weather varies between cold and pouring rain. She wanted to have the display indoors. She figured it would be a good attraction. She requested the rink from January 27th to the 31st.

She also requested the budget for the celebration. Councillor Mario Feldhoff pointed out the floor of KIR was not concrete but was sand with brinelines built into it. It would not be possible to have anything in there unless there was ice on it.

Councillor Rob Goffinet clarified the Winter Festival had not had ice sculptures before. Desserault hoped to have a place for the ice sculptures as people were coming from around the world to present.

“My vision for the festival is a vision which is going to be as popular as the Quebecois'. Simple as that,” said Desserault. There were no other questions so she sat down.

In a memo, Municpal Manager Trafford Hall reminded the Councillors the recommendation from the Advisory Recreation Comission (ARC) concerning the Kitimat Ice Rink (KIR) had not been received or dealt with as of Monday the 3rd. If the rink is open, then they are currently unaware of events scheduled by major ice users during this time. If it is closed, they probably would be unable to accommodate the request in the Tamitik.

In addition, the grant request for the 2011 Winter Festival would be $14,534.40, $10,784.40 being the in kind donation of the KIR. Hall recommended not supporting the request at this time and contacting the ARC over implications to the major ice users.

This was brought up under reports later in the meeting. Feldhoff tabled the motion until they have the schedule of the ice users from the ARC. He stated they should wait until they have feedback on using the facilty without damaging it or if the recommendation came back to keep the KIR open for one more year, they would have no choice but to table or deny it.

The ARC met the following night and decided to recommend keeping KIR open for one more year. However, this recommendation has to return to Council and they can chose to accept or decline it.

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