Council debates corporate sponsorship
When the new Edmonds Community Centre opens in the spring of 2013, it will include a children's indoor playground for kids five and under.
Of the $60,000 cost of the equipment, Burnaby-based G&F Financial Group will fund $15,000 in an agreement it reached with Burnaby's parks and recreation department.
In exchange for the partial sponsorship, said a city staff report, the credit union will receive several opportunities for recognition, including acknowledgement on the city's website, in brochures and the centre's program guides, verbal acknowledgement during parent advisory committee presentations to Edmonds-area schools, a plaque, participation at the opening ceremony, and the chance to host an annual event or activity in the playground area for 10 years or the life of the equipment, whichever is less.
G&F will also receive the right of first refusal for all future sponsorship opportunities involving the playground for up to 10 years.
Burnaby Coun. Colleen Jordan expressed reservations at a recent council meeeting about corporate sponsorship at city facilities, but declined to comment further upon learning it was a done deal through the city's parks and recreation commission.
However, several council members pointed out that such sponsorship is not unusual in the city.
Coun. Paul McDonell noted that G&F Financial also contributed $15,000 towards a new bocce court at Confederation Park in time for the BC Seniors Games.
For the past 10 years, the credit union, whose head office is located at Kingsway and Edmonds Street, has also sponsored events in the neighbourhood such as the Santa Claus Parade and City Fair, he added.
Mayor Derek Corrigan said that Chevron Canada sponsored the weight room at Eileen Dailly Pool so "there is precedence" for the parks department accepting donations for equipment at its facilities.
Coun. Sav Dhaliwal, chair of the parks commission, added that the donation is in keeping with the parks department's policy, noting that Westminster Savings has sponsored free swims at certain pools for several years and Copeland Arena has sponsorships with several companies for advertising.
"It's just very small advertisements," Dhaliwal said, "nothing overpowering, nothing that we want to be in everybody's face."
Corrigan said such sponsorships should be encouraged.
"I don't want to discourage corporations from giving us money because I think it's always a good idea for us to have that symbiotic relationship of them getting good public relations while we get new equipment," Corrigan said.
"It can be very useful for deferring expenses taxpayers might have to bear, for a little bit of acknowledgement."