EDITORIAL: Rock the Shores could be a big loss

Some creativity required to keep society out of the red

The West Shore Parks and Recreation Society has had a rough start to 2017 and we hope they can turn that luck around.

After the City of Langford rejected the society’s proposed operating budget for the year, the society was dealt another blow last week when Rock the Shores organizer Atomique Productions announced the popular Colwood festival will not return to the lower fields this summer.

Unfortunately, both mean 2017 could be a very lean year for the society. Conservatively, the rock festival was expected to bring it roughly $30,000. While that may not be a huge piece of the overall revenue pie, it definitely takes a slice out of an already tight margin. Some creative thinking and belt tightening will be needed to keep figures out of the red.

An extended playoff run by the Victoria Grizzlies, which continues this week at The Q Centre, and the possibility of hosting the 2017 Mann Cup lacrosse championship this fall could help make up some of that shortfall. But after nearly losing the Grizzlies last year, the society will have to think outside the box if they want to capitalize on new opportunities and create new revenue streams.

While it may be hard to attract headline acts – at least for this year – we know other local production companies have been eyeing The Q Centre for concerts and have expressed interest in hosting more shows on the West Shore. This could also open the door for more outdoor events, whether music oriented, recreational sports or something completely new.

The music business can be a tough gig – as can the world of amateur sports. As such, we encourage West Shore Parks and Recreation to continue to broaden their offerings, not just this year, but in those to come.

Over the years the society has successfully used a well-rounded approach to programming at its various facilities, which appeal to a broad range of interests. While Rock the Shores may well be back in 2018, the sometimes uncertain nature of that industry should inspire further creativity when it comes to finding revenue sources – perhaps outside the fields of sports and music.

With a growing residential base on the West Shore, the sky appears to be the limit when it comes to finding the next big thing.

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