This year’s Lake Days will run with a deficit budget, partly due to the withdrawal of funds by the Lady of the Lake Society.
At an April 14 Lake Days Society meeting held at Country Grocer in Lake Cowichan, chair Bob Day predicted a deficit budget of around $400.
This year’s Lake Days will run June 1 to 8.
“The Lady of the Lake Society has decided to withhold all their funding, but they will organize the strawberry tea this year,” said Day.
“They are not going anywhere but I always liked having their bank account there as it kept us connected. I’m sad about not communicating with them more face to face, as I go to enough meetings to know you have to do that. You can’t do it all by email.”
In 2013, a total of $1,800 came into Lake Days via the Lady of the Lake Ball, but that money will not be forthcoming this year.
Gil Munro who organizes the vendors aspect of Lake Days, as well as the wine and cheese event, argued that all the funding put towards the stage on-site is to enhance the experience of the Lady of the Lake candidates.
“The whole thing is based around the Lady of the Lake,” said Munro at the meeting.
“Now they don’t want the financial responsibility but they want to work within. It costs around $300 just to decorate the stage for the crowning. Perhaps we should supply the stage for one more year but after that maybe they should look after themselves.”
“About $2,500 goes towards the Lady of the Lake facilities every year and it’s a $20,000 event,” he said.
Lake Days stalwart Sam Beldessi from the Lions Club believes the society and Lady of the Lake must continue to work together going forward.
“We have to continue to show that we are united,” he said.
Another hit Lake Days is set to take this year is a $1,300 bill for the road closure over the weekend to conduct the road hockey tournament.
“The Town of Lake Cowichan inadvertently paid for that for two years in a row. It’s a bill for the two traffic control people as well,” said Day.
To avoid a larger deficit, Lake Days will raise the price of beer in the beer garden by a dollar, going up from $4 last year to $5 this year.
“We have a $14,000 cushion and I’d hate to lose that if it rains one year. One year we spent $7,000 of that and it took us two years to make it back.”
“The maximum you can charge for a 12 oz. beer is $5,” said Munro. “The extra $1 is no problem, I don’t think we’ll have any complaints.”
Day was again on the same wavelength.
“If we had to raise the price of beer to $7 like professional sports events just to slow down consumption, I’d be in favour of that,” he said.
“The other thing we can do is start charging the parents of the kids that are in the road hockey tournament the regular $2 per day as well. If they show up with a hockey stick then fair enough, they get in for nothing.”
Road hockey tournament participants currently pay no extra fee to get into Lake Days.