Qualicum Beach train station celebration event gets some funding

The event Aug. 23 in Qualicum Beach will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the train station

An event celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Qualicum Beach train station will now get $5,000 from the Town, instead of $2,000 that was previously approved by council.

The event, slated for Aug. 23, will also celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Qualicum Beach Museum.

At a previous meeting, $2,000 in funding was approved for the event, but this “seed money” was just to get the event off the ground, explained  Deputy Corporate Administrator Heather Svensen at a council meeting Monday. A motion presented Monday reflected the event’s organizing committee’s desire to have a budget of up to $5,000 for the celebration, Svenson added, instead of assisting the museum in  fundraising efforts and possibly approaching council for more money down the road. Council approved the motion and Coun. Bill Luchtmeijer said the Alberni Valley Railway Society is interested in participating in the event and may supply some equipment and volunteers.

In other news from Monday’s meeting:

• The revenue from government transfers dropped significantly in 2013 from the previous year, something Luchtmeijer called the only “glaring difference” when reviewing 2013’s financial statement. Government transfers went from $1, 590,888 in 2012 to $830,257 in 2013. When Luchtmiejer asked Mark McGorman, who presented the auditor’s report, if this was a trend that was expected to continue, he replied that it was. The Small Community’s grant was halved, he said, which had a big impact on the town’s government transfer numbers. The increase in taxation revenue however, was approximately equal to the decrease in that grant, he noted.

• A Digital Arts Studio pilot project that has recently seen renovations done to the 100-year-old train station in Qualicum Beach is slated to be open for the public to view at the end of March.

The space is set to be a meeting and work space for the central and north Island’s distributed digital workforce, in order for people to collaborate and facilitate technology growth from idea to market, The NEWS learned last fall.

The town’s cultural consultant, Patricia Hunstman, updated council at Monday’s meeting that a no-host model had been decided upon, which means a reduction in expenses, and with grant money and projected revenues, the project is expected to meet its targeted budget in the first year.

• March 4 there will be a public information meeting  on the review of Official Community Plan and the potential change to the growth containment boundary. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

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