Windsor Buskers And The Detroit Grand Prix
Would you choose the one in your City, the Windsor Buskers Festival, or the one in a neighbouring city, the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, headed by a successful businessman, Roger Penske of Super Bowl fame?
You'd think the answer was an easy one wouldn't you when your local economy was suffering.
Now let's complicate it a bit. The local festival attracts tens of thousands of local residents especially families with children. The neighbouring festival allows you to rub shoulders with VIPs and is covered by a major American national TV network and is also broadcast to 180+ countries .
Still a tough decision...How about this. The City's CAO makes it a lot easier for a decision to be taken. According to a Councillor:
- "Indeed it was ironic last Monday when Council was told that it was not notified, early in the year, that the 2007 Buskers Festival might be threatened because the CAO was not sure the $40,000 in the parks budget would survive Council cuts.
The operations budget committee, which I chaired, did not cut the Buskers budget, but by the time the final budget was passed by Council in May, administration determined that it was too late to properly organize the August Buskers Festival.
So why then was the Communications budget item reported to Council prior to budget deliberations, and not Buskers? Do senior administrators place a much higher priority on hiring two or three more communications officers, to perform at their beck and call, than holding a Buskers Festival?"
Let's make it even harder by talking about costs. Now here is an interesting note I saw from someone at City Hall about costing out the Buskers:
- "Thank you for your question, and thank you for giving us the opportunity clarify this issue for you.
There is much, much more involved in presenting a Buskers Festival than simply bringing in a roster of talented performers. The artist you spoke to did not provide you with accurate information.
The Performers Contract provides for the provision of a per diem, travel expenses and performance fees for each artist. In 2006, those costs were approximately $14,500.
In addition, the artists are provided with hotel accommodations for the duration of their stay, which added another $5,500.
Other expenses include the contracts of the festival producer and site manager, tents, tables, chairs, staging, PA systems, lighting, electricians and electrical inspections, security, communication equipment, golf carts (for use on festival site), marketing and promotion (TV, radio, newspaper, posters, flyers, etc.), first aid personnel, refrigerated truck (for perishable food storage), various supplies, and other associated items.
In 2006, the budget for marketing and promotion was significantly reduced to respond to a reduction in funding for the festival and the total cost of the festival was approximately $71,000.
Revenues for the festival are limited to the City's base funding, vendors fees, and sponsorships from the business community (which were minimal in 2006). Ideally, a budget of $100,000 is required to properly present a 4-day festival."
So here is another complicating factor. The cost of the Buskers is $70-100,000 while the cost of the Grand Prix sponsorship is US$80,000. Virtually the same.