Champion commences community investment a week after survey
By Morinville News Staff
Morinville – A week after announcing they were behind a recent issues-driven telephone survey, the purpose of which was in part to determine where the company should invest community dollars, Champion Petfoods has committed $20,000 to support festivals in Morinville.
Morinville Festival Chair Paul Smith said he was pleased to have the Morinville business step up to the plate to financially support not only the annual St. Jean Baptiste Festival, but also what he hopes to be a year-long series of smaller festivals and events.
“The Morinville Festival Society is trying to promote tourism for Morinville, and thanks to Champion Petfoods we know have a large financial commitment to start the ball rolling on what we believe will put Morinville on the Capital Region’s map of places to visit for solid entertainment and festivals,” Smith said.
Smith and his committee are looking to build on the growing success of the St. Jean Baptiste Festival, reinvigorated in recent years by Joel Chevalier and Ron Cust, and most recently Smith himself. They are looking to broaden the scope by bringing smaller but no less enthusiastic festivals to the community throughout the year.
“With the success of the Street Performers Festival at the Morinville Farmers’ Market, we believe that smaller events throughout the entire year will bring more traffic from other communities to support local businesses, and show the bedroom community portion of town the amazing things happening right here in Morinville,” Smith said.
Earlier this month, Champion’s President and CEO, Frank Burdzy, said a major component of the anonymous telephone survey, apart from gauging resident reaction to their odour mitigation efforts, was to determine what Morinvillians were passionate about. In an interview with The Morinville News at that time Burdzy said his company was receiving up to a dozen requests for funding each month. The answers to the survey have allowed them to narrow their community dollars into things that will have the greatest benefit for residents.
Festivals are clearly one of those areas of impact and Champion has committed to financially supporting that cause.
“We learned that residents want to support and grow local businesses, and they want programs that really engage the entire community, especially families,” Burdzy said Wednesday in an e-mail interview. “This is why we have decided to partner with the Morinville Festival Society as a title sponsor.”
Smith could not elaborate on just what other Morinville Festival Society events Champion’s $20,000 commitment will go towards, but said he is looking to provide the biggest bang for the buck possible.
“As was our goal last year with St. Jean Baptiste Festival 2012, it is our hope to make each of the Morinville Festival Society events sustainable events in that we seek dollars outside of those provided solely by Morinville’s rate payers,” Smith said.