Pemberton wants festival back 

Festival ‘lost a lot of money,’ but organizer won’t say how much

click to enlarge It's A Hit Pembertonians gave the inaugural Pemberton Festival a high five. Photo by Andrew Mitchell
  • It's A Hit Pembertonians gave the inaugural Pemberton Festival a high five. Photo by Andrew Mitchell

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“You had conversations with Daniel, our administrator, and he hasn’t had a conversation specifically with us at the council table, or with the community,” she said.

“We put out a survey that got 23 responses, and the responses didn’t specifically say that we’re all gung-ho on it. He kind of put a positive spin on it without letting us review the surveys with him, and without asking our opinions.”

Bourbonnais then said that he had spoken with Sailland as well as Greg Bikadi, president of the Lil’wat Business Corporation, and Lyle Leo, formerly the lead negotiator with the Lil’wat Nation. He also said he would be coming to Mount Currie council on Sept. 23.

Dick then said he should speak with the Lil’wat Nation before he submits another non-farm use application to the Agricultural Land Commission to hold the festival on the same site next year. Scattered applause followed Dick’s remarks.

In August it was revealed that a new location may need to be found for the Pemberton Festival because the ALC only approved use of the farm field site for one year. Colin Fry, executive director of the ALC, told Pique at the time that the agricultural authority has “specifically refused” to have the festival on the same site in the future, calling it some of the best agricultural land in the province.

Bourbonnais, however, said after last week’s meeting that public opinion about the festival is likely to sway the ALC to allow it in the same place if it happens next year. He also said organizers would be filing another non-farm use application to the ALC the following morning.

Reached at his office on Monday afternoon, Fry did not confirm whether public opinion could sway the commission one way or the other, adding that the ALC has not yet received any further applications from festival organizers.

“All I can say is that the commission has not seen the matter before them,” he said. “There’s no application, so speculating the outcome would be inappropriate.”

Fry also said that an application to the ALC for a site in Pemberton must first go through the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District before reaching the commission.

Most other comments at the meeting heaped praise upon the festival and the impact it has had on Pemberton.

Rod MacLeod said he feels like a “rockstar” when he hears his town’s name.

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