Powell River will be submitting a bid to host a Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) board meeting in 2017, which, if successful, would bring a large contingent to the community.
At the Thursday, February 19, meeting of City of Powell River Council, Mac Fraser, chief administrative officer, said this city had applied previously to host a board meeting but had not been successful.
“The FCM is an organization that advocates at the national level for local government,” Fraser said. “The [city] is a member in good standing. The FCM is so big that the board requires 150 people to meet, between staff and elected officials.”
Fraser said he believes there are more than 1,000 communities that are members of the FCM.
“It’s very large,” he said. “We could not possibly host the actual conference, which draws thousands. It was in Vancouver recently, and Niagara Falls. It has to be a major centre.”
The cost of hosting the FCM board meeting would involve the expense of arranging a social evening, amounting to an expenditure of $10,000 to $15,000.
“That is returned many times over by profile, to say nothing of spinoff business of 150 people staying in town, depending on the travel arrangements, for up to four nights,” Fraser said.
Mayor Dave Formosa said that when Powell River hosted the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) convention here, the community left an impression on some of the visitors to the extent that local politicians still hear about it.
The visitors were “blown away,” Formosa said. “Our academy of music blew them away, and our arts and cultural sector blew them away.”
Council voted unanimously to submit an application to host the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Board meetings in either March or September 2017.