Vancouver Canucks too rich to be seen on village screens 

Council opposed to spending $40,000 on Stanley Cup playoff viewing

Whistler will not be jumping on the big screen bandwagon to broadcast Canucks hockey live in the village.

This week council opted not to spend the $40,000 needed to bring a big screen into the village for the duration of the playoffs. Meanwhile, Vancouver, Surrey and Chilliwack are setting up to make the most of outdoor venues.

"I'm really frustrated," said Councillor Ralph Forsyth Monday, in the wake of council's decision.

"That was an easy win for the community."

The screens would have been "something fun and happy for the town" and a way to generate some extra traffic for struggling businesses in town, said Forsyth.

Forsyth initiated the investigation into the village big screen TV at the Thursday May 26 special council meeting.

At the time he said he'd been watching the crowds gather in Vancouver to watch the game and believed it would be a way to rally Whistler around the hockey games, as well as make the village vibrant and generate business for retailers.

"It's the kind of thing we do great," he said at that meeting.

He said the money to fund it could come from the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding, which is funding used for tourism related programs and infrastructure. Whistler gets about $7 million per year in RMI funding from the province.

Staff quickly investigated the cost but in the end council vetoed the plan.

A statement issued by municipal communications staff stated:

"The business community has indicated that a number of businesses in town have plans for screens and special promotions to mark the occasion, and anticipates that Whistlerites will be creative in finding ways to celebrate this exciting series."

Vancouver and CBC Vancouver have finalized plans for two fan zones downtown - one on Granville Street, the other on Hamilton Street.

"The excitement and anticipation for the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs is building in our city, and we want to make the most of it," said Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Both Fan Zones will have face painting and other fun activities prior to the game.

Surrey and Chilliwack are also hosting public broadcasts of the games.

"Surrey loves great community events and we love our Canucks!" said Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts.

It is costing Surrey about $10,000 per game, which includes items such as the screens, fencing, security and the activities. About $1,000 of this comes from corporate donations.

The Stanley Cup playoffs will take place over the next two weeks. Game 7, if it goes that far, will be played on Wednesday June 15.

 

 

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