Thunder Bay Council Ratifies Event Centre Letter of Intent

Aerial view of proposed Waterfront Event Centre
Aerial view of proposed Waterfront Event Centre

Aerial view of proposed Waterfront Event Centre
Aerial view of proposed Waterfront Event Centre

THUNDER BAY – On Monday night, Thunder Bay City Council ratified a Letter of Intent (LOI), which defines the working relationship with private partners Thunder Bay LIVE! for the proposed Thunder Bay Event & Convention Centre (TBECC).

“This Letter of Intent is an important step and Phase 3 is moving forward well,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “Council looks forward to a full status report coming back in August.”

Letter of Intent Sets Stage

The Letter of Intent signing means that Council and Administration can now move forward with the remaining steps in the process to explore developing the facility with the partner consortium including the schematic design for costing purposes and in-depth business plan, which are components for the submission to the Federal and Provincial governments for funding.

“We are pleased to have the Letter of Intent in place to continue moving forward with Thunder Bay LIVE! on the next steps which include some exciting community engagement opportunities this month,” said Michael Smith, General Manager – Facilities, Fleet & Transit Services who is the City’s lead on the project.

No Guarantees

“It’s important to note though, that even with an LOI to define how we work together, there is no guarantee on either side. It is non-binding. The remaining pieces, including funding, need to be in place and Council has made no final decisions.”

“We’ve said from the beginning that Thunder Bay is a very attractive market with real economic development opportunities,” stated Gary Green, Senior Director – Stadium Consultants International, a subsidiary of BBB Architects Toronto Inc., and spokesperson for Thunder Bay LIVE!. “Having the LOI in place means we can continue to move the project ahead. We are excited to be a part of the ongoing transformation of the City through a world-class event and convention centre that is unique to Thunder Bay.”

Public Meetings

As part of the City’s community engagement activities, a community update on the project will be provided at an information session as follows:

Tuesday, May 27
6-9 pm Open House
7 pm Presentation
Italian Cultural Centre, 132 Algoma St. S.

Consortium architect Chris O’Reilly of BBB Architects will present the schematic design of the proposed facility. Everyone is invited to attend the preliminary design presentation from the City and Thunder Bay LIVE! consortium, and learn more about the project.

Community Attitudes Survey Underway

Citizens are encouraged to answer the call for their views on the Event & Convention Centre project as the City’s TBECC Community Attitudes survey gets underway. The random telephone survey of 1,000 citizens aged 18+ will be conducted during the month of May by IPSOS Reid Public Affairs – Canada’s largest provider of public affairs research.

“We are interested in gauging community attitudes to the proposed Event & Convention Centre,” said Iain Angus, Chair of Council’s Community Communications Committee. “To heighten representation we have asked for a larger than usual sample size and to include cell phones.”

“Ipsos advised the sample size of 1,000 respondents will achieve results considered accurate to within +/- 3 percentage points 19 times out of 20,” commented Karen Lewis, Director – Corporate Communications & Strategic Initiatives.

Phase 3 of the project continues to move forward including oversight and strategic direction of the Intergovernmental Liason Committee of City Council. Phase 3 includes a target date for major funding applications to be submitted by Sept. 30, 2014. A status report to City Council is targeted for August 2014.

The results of the statistically valid survey will be presented with the final Phase 3 report.

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