Concession at Millennium reports winning first year

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
November 8th, 2016

The concession at the Celgar Pavilion at Millennium Park had a banner first year, according to Kristen Johnson, executive director of Castlegar and District Community Services Society.

In presentation to city council at its regular meeting Monday night, Johnson said they processed about 5,700 transactions, and estimate they served roughly 10,000 individuals over the summer months.

“We operated the concession this year with, I think, great success,” she said. “It was fantastic, considering it’s the first year we’ve been open.”

“Near the end (of the season), we were peeling, chopping and prepping about 300 pounds of potatoes a week,” she said, adding this was thanks to a great staff (four students and a young lady from Community Living) as well as tons of volunteer hours, including many from the staff and board of CDCSS.

Johnson said they got fabulous reviews in their guest book, and while they operated like any other business in terms of paying rent, insurance, permits, Food Safe, etc., they were also able to do a lot of work raising awareness in the community.

“Social enterprise is really important in a non-profit environment,” she said. “We rely heavily on government funding, so any time we can bring in that little bit of extra money … and we had brochures about our services down there, and lots of people came to the window asking questions.

“You can’t buy that kind of PR.”

The contract to operate the concession is renewable, but Johnson said she’s very hopeful that council will give them the green light for a second year.

Mayor Lawrence Chernoff indicated council’s decision should be made sometime later this month.


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