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St. Albert's 150th to cost $1.7M

The Rendezvous 2011 committee plans to spend $1.7 million on the yearlong celebrations to mark St. Albert's 150th anniversary, despite not having all the funding in place.

The Rendezvous 2011 committee plans to spend $1.7 million on the yearlong celebrations to mark St. Albert's 150th anniversary, despite not having all the funding in place.

Margaret Plain, chair of the 150th anniversary committee, outlined the group's budget at council Monday. Revenues include $559,000 from the city, $147,000 in event revenue, and $325,000 in provincial and federal grants.

The group plans to raise another $400,000 from corporate sponsors, while in-kind donations and merchandise sales will cover the rest.

Plain said the budget covers costs from late 2008, when the committee was formed, to March 2011. The total cost equals roughly $29 per St. Albert resident, she said.

Revenue targets

Plain told council the committee has yet to apply for the provincial and federal grants, something that is expected to happen within a few months.

"I am cautiously optimistic," she said about securing all the revenue needed for the celebrations. "We believe we are going to continue fundraising throughout the year."

Plain said the celebration's first corporate sponsor, Canadian Western Bank, has already donated $50,000. However, Coun. Gareth Jones said he was concerned about the lack of progress on that front.

He pointed out the committee has a long way to go to raise $400,000 in corporate funds, plus $171,000 of in-kind contributions.

Plain said they had $89,000 of in-kind contributions and believed it was possible to raise the remainder in time for the celebrations.

Mayor Nolan Crouse also said he wanted to be sure the committee would be financially sound, adding that he did not want to see the group come to the city in 2011 to ask for more. Plain assured him they would do everything they could to raise the money, including a planned gala in January and merchandise sales.

Coun. Roger Lemieux also expressed dismay at the lack of secured dollars and asked Plain for a list of projects they could cut to reduce expenses to balance the budget if needed. He later said he didn't want to see the committee come back to the city for more money.

"I don't think it would be fair to go back to the taxpayers," he said after the meeting. "There's some pretty big money being spent on this.

"I have faith in Margaret Plain … she seems to have confidence they will have the funding."

Plain said in a later interview the group would work to ensure they had the money in place for the events. She added the committee would slash plans from the anniversary if there were no funds, depending on how projects were to be funded.

"We will do our best to raise the money."