by Morinville News Staff with files from Lucie Roy
The Town of Morinville announced Friday that it had two weeks earlier terminated a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Edmonton Bicycle & Touring Club (EBTC) for its annual Tour de l’Alberta (the Tour).
The Town provided 30-days written notice to the bike club on Jan. 29, ending a two-year relationship where the Town took on a significant role in running the event. The Tour de l’Alberta celebrated its 21st-anniversary last summer and Morinville has been the hub around which the event cycled for several years.
The EBTC and the Town first co-hosted the 20th Annual Tour de l’Alberta event in 2014. For many years, the EBTC had contracted an event organizer, but due to increasing costs in contract fees they considered not holding the event in 2014 at all. It was at this time Town staff met with the EBTC Board of Directors to discuss a new management structure where they would be equal partners in the event in 2014, sharing any profits the event generated. The memorandum of understanding was signed between the EBTC and the Town in March of 2014, affirming the new partnership.
A month-and-a-half after the 2014 inaugural event, Schaun Goodeve, Economic Development Coordinator for the Town of Morinville, made a presentation to Morinville Town Council and said the net profit for 2014 was $54,660, an amount that put $27,330 into the bike club’s hands and an equal amount into Town coffers.
The one-day event drew a total of 1,389 riders to Morinville; however, those numbers were down significantly in 2015, a year that saw the event move its date and the number of cyclists down to just under 1000.
Schaun Goodeve, Tour de l’Alberta Committee Lead and the Town of Morinville’s Planning & Economic Development Manager, said the decision to part company was due to resource capacity and not the value and importance of the event.
“The Town of Morinville has always been, and continues to support the principles that the Tour represents including but not limited to regional collaboration, healthy lifestyle, community engagement and welcoming riders and spectators to our community”, Goodeve said in a Town release issued Friday. “In careful examination of the past year’s success in organizing and hosting the 2015 Tour, it was apparent that resources to which this event demands exceeded our capacities.”
Though the Town has severed its MOU with the Edmonton Bicycle & Touring Club effective the end of February, they point out it does not take away the possibility of the municipality being involved in the event in the future.
The Edmonton Bicycle & Touring Club website does not list a date for the 2016 iteration of the Tour de l’Alberta. The Tour page does present the Town’s press release on their decision to terminate the arrangement.