Sylvan Lake town council approves multiplex sponsorship campaign

Sylvan Lake Town Council gave its seal of approval on Monday night to an ambitious sponsorship campaign to raise more than $2 million for a new multiplex.

Sylvan Lake Town Council gave its seal of approval on Monday night to an ambitious sponsorship campaign to raise more than $2 million for a new multiplex.

A fundraising committee has proposed selling naming rights to the multiplex for $500,000. For $250,000, sponsors can stamp their names on the aquatic centre, each of two arenas or the curling rink.

In all, companies or individuals can put their names on 44 parts of the facility, covering everything from players and referee change rooms, or multi-purpose spaces to the score clock, ice resurfacer, elevator and even public washrooms. Price range from $100,000 to $10,000.

If every available sponsorship was sold, $2.57 million would be raised for the proposed multiplex. The committee’s target is to raise $2 million.

While council supported the initiative some wondered if the naming rights to the whole facility was high enough, or whether there would be enough takers for all the other sponsorships.

Coun. Dale Plante felt the facility sponsorship price tag could be raised and wondered if trying to secure nearly four dozen sponsorships was too optimistic.

“I hope I’m dead wrong on this, but I think it’s a massive stretch.”

Ron Lebsack, the town’s director of community services, said consultants KCI Advanced Philanthropy, who were hired to assist with fundraising, said raising the goal amount was “very do-able” in a community the size of Sylvan Lake.

Coun. Matt Prete expressed reservations about putting so much emphasis on selling sponsorships.

“My biggest concern is putting all our eggs in one basket,” said Prete. “I like the idea. To me, this is a component of (fundraising). It’s not the entire package.”

Lebsack later said that there will be room for other community fundraising initiatives and residents who simply want to make a donation can do so. A website is being developed to co-ordinate fundraising.

Council voted unanimously to approve the sponsorship opportunities list. It was also decided that if a sponsor wanted to negotiate something other than the set price — as part of a multi-sponsorship package for example — that the offer would come back to council for approval.

Sylvan Lake is fast-tracking its new multiplex after the roof of one of its two arenas collapsed earlier in the winter from snow load.

Council set a maximum budget of $16.5 million for the leisure facility in December 2012.

The town had proposed borrowing $7.9 million for the facility and to tap into another $4.5 million from its reserves and through government grants. It was also hoped that $3.1 million would come from neighbouring summer villages and counties and $2.5 million could be raised through donations, sponsors and user groups.

But the cost is being revisited because the town has decided to include a new five-sheet curling rink in the facility.

The curling rink had been slated as a stand-alone facility.

In other council news:

l Council approved spending $28,000 to build a temporary concession in the multiplex. A food option was needed because the one next door in the Sylvan Lake Arena was lost when that facility’s roof caved in.

l Town of Sylvan Lake has agreed not to apply to annex land next to the Summer Village of Norglenwold until the two communities have worked out a joint agreement. Council approved annexation targets on Monday that include quarter sections east of town on both sides of Hwy 11A for future industrial use and quarter sections south of Hwy 11A west of 60th Street for residential.

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