By Ron Giofu
The Belle Vue Conservancy has outlined its next steps to town council, with some of those steps including sponsorship opportunities.
Shirley Curson-Prue, president of the conservancy, spoke to town council at their most recent meeting with several members of the group in the audience. She also presented a written presentation to the town.
“We have confirmed the branding, goal, and vision of the Conservancy and developed an overarching fundraising strategy. Based on information provided by the town liaison representative, our activity should be eligible for matching funds up to $1 million through a Sesquicentennial Program to be offered by Parks Canada,” Curson-Prue stated. “There may well be funds available from other departments and other levels of government. For this reason the Conservancy Steering Committee confirmed our intention to target our fundraising activities for phase one to be up to $1 million.”
The first phase includes obtaining “keystone sponsors” including room sponsors that could go as high as $300,000 for a room to window sponsors for the ten rooms that they hope to raise $200,000 from in total.
A crowd sourcing fundraising campaign is expected to start in February. They hope to raise $50,000 in a semi-annual campaign.
“As indicated, we are recommending Naming Rights as a way to generate considerable individual and corporate funds, the lowest amount being $20,000 for a window, up to and including $200,000 or more for different rooms or areas of the building. We have researched naming rights offered by other charitable and not-for–profit organizations and agencies and relied to a certain extent on the activities and funds raised for the Hospice of Windsor and Essex which has generated millions of dollars for the restoration and ongoing maintenance of their facility,” Curson-Prue reported to council. “Given the potential variety of donations from $25 for a tax receipt to $100,000 for naming a large main floor room, it is confirmed that the conservancy will maintain ongoing consultation with the CAO and town administration concerning the type and nature of acknowledgments for other levels of donations. Where it is apparent additional involvement of the town council is required this will be recommended and facilitated through the office of the CAO.”
There are 14 active members of the conservancy, she told town council, noting they are all volunteers.
Councillor Leo Meloche said he is pleased the group “hit the ground running.
“I like what I see and I hope for more good things for the community,” said Meloche.
Upon questioning from Councillor Rick Fryer, CAO John Miceli said there will be no new staff member added to pursue grants with manager of tourism and culture Anne Rota, director of corporate services/treasurer Justin Rousseau and Miceli the ones that will pursue grants.
“I commend you on the work you are doing and thank you very much,” added Councillor Joan Courtney.