Is anyone going to say just how many people took part in the Sound of Music Festival this year?

By Pepper Parr

July 4th, 2024



So – how many people took part in the Sound of Music Festival this year?

The crowds were there – but no one has issued an official count.

No word yet on what the count was; given that the city had to come through with a last minute bail out of $125,000 – during her ward meeting Councillor Kearns said the amount was $150,000 – one would have thought they would release the number as soon as they were available.

The fans do get excited. They pay a premium to be able to be at the foot of the stage.

There are mixed views floating around on whether or not the event has reached its best before date.

The crowds were certainly there when we looked.

Wasn’t isn’t  in place is a level of governance that is now a must have for any organization that gets funds from the City.

The Performing Arts Centre had a set of governance requirements put before them – and they complied. And they picked up the cost of the person who created the report.

One of the unfortunate parts of the problems at BPAC was the abrupt departure of the Executive Director.  No official word but there were problems with some of the relationships that existed that aren’t part of a well-run corporation that exists to a considerable degree on public money.

That chapter of BPAC’s history is behind them.

Former president of Cogeco, Ken Smithard has kept the organization stable as it went through a very difficult stage. Will he be asked to stay on while BPAC determines what it might be able to do with the Sound of Music?

A new Board is now in place.  Current Board chair Ken Smithard is nearing the end of his term and has said  there is a very strong board in place – several who could step in when his term comes to an end.

At this point they BPAC appears prepared to look at creating a stronger bond between the Sound of Music and the Performing Arts Centre – but the Sound of Music people are going to have to clean up their act quickly before anything can be done.

Taking part in a virtual Council meeting from his van Dave Sheppard said he would step and run the organization to get it back on its feet.

Telling people that the bands need to be paid in cash and thus the need for hard dollars – how does one create a paper trail when cash is involved?  Does the Sound of Music get receipts for the dollars they hand over?

There is some very hard thinking that needs to be done and then some hard work if the Sound of Music is going to continue.  There are those who have a lot of influence within city hall who don’t see enough in the way of real benefit to the city for the show to continue.

The one thing the Sound of Music does have is a band of volunteers who do the hard volunteer level work that gets the show on the road and the clean up that follows.

A number of years ago they tried very hard to bring about changes in the way the event was run – they were stiffed by the SoM at the time.

There is more to come on this event.

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3 comments to Is anyone going to say just how many people took part in the Sound of Music Festival this year?

  • Graham

    May be too late but I would think some professional market researchers should have been engaged to access among other things where do the attendees come from——Burlington-Oakville-Hamilton etc etc.
    What are the benefits to Burlington residents?
    Has it got too big for Spencer Smith Park.?
    I though years ago that the event raised money for the Teen Tour Band and other musical organizations.If not why not?

    • Caren

      Graham, I agree with you. We need to find out where participants, who attend the SOM are coming from? If the majority of attendees are from outside of Burlington, why are Burlington Property Tax payers being burdened with this extra cost on their yearly Tax Bill?? We need our Burlington City Council to find this out before 2025.

  • Caren

    Paying the Bands in Cash is a little unorthodox. Why not pay them with a “Bank Draft” which is guaranteed money by the Bank and provides a receipt for payment to SOM for their financial records.

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