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'No commitments' from Pemberton Festival organizers

Community census paints partial picture of Pembertonians

Live Nation continues to talk with the Village of Pemberton about a future music festival, but as of right now the mayor is saying "no commitments" have been made.

Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy said as much at a Sept. 14 council meeting. In his mayor's report, he reiterated that he, Village Administrator Daniel Sailland and Cam McIvor, owner of the property where the festival took place in 2008, flew to London, England to meet with Shane Bourbonnais, organizer of the festival and now Live Nation's president of Talent, International Music.

"There was no commitments made, but we're continuing to move forward and provide information," Sturdy told council. "New information as it becomes available to continue to work, to create a situation whereby Live Nation feels that they have to come back."

The meeting with Bourbonnais covered topics such as RCMP costs, traffic issues and liquor licensing. Sturdy came away from it saying it was positive but he was noncommittal about whether the festival will return.

"There's reasonable or good progress on a whole variety of different issues that provided an obstacle to the return," he said. "Obviously there were a number of financial challenges with the festival in the past. I think that we've worked with the landowner and the various stakeholders to do what we can to create a situation where it makes sense for Live Nation to return."

The 2008 Pemberton Music Festival attracted 40,000 concertgoers to Spud Valley to see artists such as Tom Petty, Coldplay and Nine Inch Nails. The event was hailed as one of the biggest in Pemberton's history. Officials have since laboured to bring it back.

In November 2009 they obtained a non-farm use permit from the Agricultural Land Commission that could be used once a year for 10 years on the Ravens Crest property, about four kilometres from the Village of Pemberton's town centre. It has yet to be used.

Other developments at Pemberton council last week saw council members receive the 2010 Community Census, which the Village of Pemberton hoped would give it a good picture of the community's character and lifestyle trends.

The survey, conducted between June 10 and June 30, saw census-takers visit every residence in Pemberton. They asked questions such as, how many people live in each type of dwelling? How will this affect the provision of services and infrastructure? How many commuters go to Whistler on a daily basis?

Census-takers encountered resistance from Pemberton residents when asked how many people they had living in their homes. Some denied they had extra suites, while others denied they had any tenants occupying their suites.

The highest completion rate came in the Glen neighbourhood, which saw 86 per cent of households return their surveys to the village. That includes residences on Harrow Road, Balsam Street, Lupin Street and Larch Street.

Some of the lowest results came from the Pemberton Plateau, an area where census-takers encountered much of their resistance. Forty-seven per cent of households submitted their surveys from that neighbourhood, for a total of 35. The lowest came from homes in the Creekside/Signal Hill area, where 44 per cent of households returned their survey form.

The survey also found that the largest age-group of Pemberton's residents is between the ages of 30 and 39. Just over 29 per cent of Pemberton residents are between these ages, while 11.2 per cent are aged between 40 and 44 years old.

More Pemberton respondents work in Whistler - 462 respondents - than anywhere else. A total of 208 respondents work in the Village of Pemberton and 165 work at variable locations.