Stewart goes to bat for North Peace Community Choir trip to Carnegie Hall

After a request for sponsorship by the North Peace Community Choir for a trip to Carnegie Hall in New York was initially rejected by City Council at this afternoon’s City Council meeting, Councillor Byron Stewart stepped up to the plate to try to convince Council to reconsider. As a result of his actions the organization’s request for sponsorship will be visited again at another date as a review will take place of the council contingency fund to see if a contribution can be made to the group.

After the motion was presented to deny the request an obviously disappointed Stewart felt second thought needed to be given considering the rare nature of the request, and exposure internationally the group will be receiving in New York.

“This is a one off that is providing international attention to our community and to our community members,” he explained. “That is something much broader than a lot of the grants that come to us that are community focused which is great but I’m just wondering the international attention and acclaim that these people are deserving of and are going to New York City representing all of us if there is a way of providing them with a little bit of financial access.”

Stewart also pointed to the lacklustre Canadian dollar, the cost ramifications as a result and that the trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Mayor Lori Ackerman stated in the past Council has had to reject similar rare opportunities for financial support before Stewart interjected and noted that previously contingency dollars have been put forward to help various initiatives that have presented themselves.

The recommendation to deny the request was put forward as it was stated it “does not conform with the Discretionary Grant In Aid or Promotional Marketing and Giveaways Council policies’ criteria.”

When it’s determined what the council contingency budget is, the request will again be reviewed.

The North Peace Community Choir will be performing at the world famous Carnegie Hall on November 29 as part of the 50th anniversary Handel’s Messiah performance of Distinguished Concerts International New York.