Timmins considering fence at Hollinger Park
Published Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:03PM EST
The second installment of Stars and Thunder, Timmins’ huge music festival, is coming up this summer and city council is set to debate a controversial change to the venue, one that could mean fencing off all of Hollinger Park.
It was a sight to behold, the biggest party in the history of Timmins.
A celebration enjoyed by thousands of ticket holders and countless others from beyond the gate, a situation organizers are looking to change by fencing off all of Hollinger Park.
"That is an issue that, obviously, takes away from the revenue of the festival. If everyone thinks, you know, let's go sit outside for free, we can still see the screens and listen to the music, that's a bit of a challenge and I don't think you can do that at any other festival, probably across Canada." Timmins Mayor Steve Black.
Keeping non-ticket holders out of the festival isn't the only factor behind the proposed fencing. Hollinger Park will undergo a major face lift to correct contaminated soil sometime this spring.
"We want to try and get the upgrades done to the splash pad, make that area a little bit safer. They're going to install a soft ground area, instead of the interlocked brick that is there now and as well, level off some of the ground that is uneven." said Black.
Council is currently weighing its options for the park's makeover, but there are those around the table who feel fencing the entire area during the concert series, is politics of division.
"I think it's mean spirited and, obviously, the clear point is that this has absolutely nothing to do with remediation, the resolution that came to council did not state that." said Timmins City Councillor Rick Dubeau.
Councillor Rick Dubeau says the move to fence the park is all about money.
"Mayor Black and Councillor Bamford have both stated that it's not right that people who don't pay to go inside the park get to hear the music, that's ridiculous. Councillors Bamford and Marks have also made the statement that the Stars and Thunder is a public funded event like arenas, the library and the museum. Again, a ridiculous statement." said Dubeau.
In its first year Stars and Thunder lost $600,000. Council will further discuss the fencing and restricted access of Hollinger Park this week, a debate that is sure to be contentious and heated.