At Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting belatedly held on Wednesday, Marketing and Events Manager Kara Euale reviewed the Town’s 2020 events both past and future. Since the pandemic struck in April, events have been virtual but still involved outdoor activity. Kara’s usual primary goal seems to be to attract Tourists but most participation this year was by locals. The two major events of a normal year, Canada Day celebrations and the Sandcastle Festival, were a special focus with the cost of Canada Day fully paid for by a Federal Grant. One of the more successful events was a Photography competition which is intended to be seasonal – four times a year. All events involved local businesses in some way so that they are supported.
List of Events
Experience Cobourg at Home. March 26. The Concert Hall shut down all events for the year and refunded as many as 3000 tickets. Instead, everyone was encouraged to stay home and watch videos of some of the cancelled performers.
Virtual Canada Day. July 1. Residents were encouraged to fly Canadian flags at home, create something iconically Canadian and share it online so that you “Show us what makes you proud of our home and native land”, and more.
Virtual Sandcastle Festival. August 24 (closing date). Like a treasure hunt, you had to visit locations around Town and provide answers. Clues were periodically given on Social media. Kara said that although there were only about 15 entries, many more participated on Social media. There’s a Cobourg News Blog Post with details of the competition here.
Seasonal Photography Competition. September 7 (summer submissions due date). Photos could be submitted in three categories: In This Together, Distinctly Local and Health and Fitness. Other submission due dates: Fall – December 14, 2020; Winter – March 22, 2021; Spring – June 21, 2021. For the summer contest, 62 submissions were received – see the photos of the three winners below. Town web page
Fall in Love with Cobourg Challenge. December 21 (Close date). You can participate in seven activities involving merchants and win prizes. Activities are grouped into: Food and Drink, Shop Local, Pamper Yourself, Explore the Arts and Outdoors, Get Out and Move, Cobourg Staycation, For your Kids or your Best Friend. Town Web page
Remembrance Day. November 11. Virtual Wreath Laying, Virtual Poppy Trail Walking Tour, online Interviews with Veterans.
Winter Campaign. No turning-on ceremony for Christmas Magic Lights. A contest will choose three Santa floats to be built then displayed downtown. (Similar to pianos in summer). Decorated trees will line King Street, residents will be challenged to produce the best decorated home with lights etc.
As a measure of success, traffic at Experiencecobourg.ca has been good, $7000 of gift cards have been issued for local businesses and multiple letters of gratitude have been received by staff.
The program to date has spent (or will spend) about half the original budget ($140.5K) and is on track to be less than the reduced budget ($75.5K).