Looking to revamp the atmosphere of the annual Relay for Life cancer fundraiser in the city, the event will have a new home in 2018.
What usually takes over the Harry Jerome Track at Prime Minister’s Park will pick up and head over to a new central location at Kinsmen Park and have new hours — noon to midnight. The event would have also conflicted with 2018 provincial high school track and field championships that weekend.
“We are looking to revamp our whole venue and our time for the event, in the hope that we can attract a lot more teams,” Event Chair Lyle Karasiuk said to city council at their latest meeting, as their permission to access the park was needed.
The time change came alongside the move to the park as it is in the middle of a residential area. According to agenda documents organizers felt, ”having an event all night would likely result in noise issues that we couldn't ask to be forgiven.”
The second aspect surrounded the loss of teams, believing the shortening of time would assist in heightening these numbers.
“We have been steadily seen a decrease in the number of teams … though we are the highest grossing and best-attended relay in the province,” Karasiuk added.
With a large stage now at the disposal and organizers wanting to foster a more festival feel, the stage will lend itself to more entertainment possibilities and possibly special speakers to create a more “flexible event.”
“We think it will lend itself to more of a community event and more of an opportunity to do that [at Kinsmen Park],” he said.
Very few hesitations were raised by council members, with many congratulating the teams for holding a strong event over the past 18 years. Some concerns over noise for the area did arise. Both Councillor Ted Zurakowski and Mayor Greg Dionne wanted to ensure those living near the park had some advanced notice of the activity.
City administration said they will both work let residents know of the activity in the park and ensure the neighbourhood has an understanding of what is occurring.
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