Organizers for the popular summertime lantern event known as Illuminaria will have to wait for the decision of a municipal grants committee meeting on Friday to learn whether they will receive funding for this year.
The annual Celebrate Mission has always paired with Illuminaria, but that event has been discontinued this year, leaving the Mission Association for Community Living (MACL) to tackle the lantern festival on their own.
“Although Celebrate Mission is no longer, MACL expects to continue organizing and hosting Illuminaria, but needs the district’s continued financial support,” said MACL’s executive director Robert Keys to council on Monday.
Illuminaria is a free event that has been held in Fraser River Heritage Park every September for the past 14 years. It began to commemorate the closure of the last institution in the province to commit people with developmental disabilities.
“It closed a dark chapter in B.C. history, so marking the occasion with lanterns and light and inviting the public to join us seemed fitting,” said Keys, adding the event is an important fundraising day for non-profit and volunteer organizations like the Special Olympics, the Optimist Club, Mission Heritage Association, and the Kinsmen Club.
Envision Financial has committed to ongoing sponsorship of Illuminaria.
Decision on voluntary tax contribution program deferred
Council’s idea to offer a voluntary tax contribution program for municipal tax bills will be deferred, pending a thorough staff study of the project.
The study would examine the program marketing, methods of soliciting or collecting donations, and budgetary impacts.
The program would allow taxpayers to make voluntary donations to optional programs that fall outside of the priority funding for the district, or to save programs that might otherwise face elimination under a funding shortfall.
A staff report noted the cost of sending out a separate voluntary tax contribution insert based on a one per cent return scenario would require an average donation of $4.78 for the program to break even, but as high as $48.78 when taking into account additional postage charges.
“The success of a voluntary tax contribution program is highly dependent upon having a well-defined project,” reads the report, including establishing a funding source from the budget.
Portion of Logan Avenue could designated Veteran’s Way
Mayor Ted Adlem announced Monday a portion of Logan Avenue in Mission that runs past the Legion could soon be designated Veteran’s Way to honour the service of Canada’s men and women in uniform.
The short stretch of Logan would be designated, not renamed, in a similar manner to the TransCanada Highway between Langley and Abbotsford that was designated the Highway of Heroes, following Ontario’s example on the 401 Expressway between Trenton and Toronto.
Staff will now work with the Legion to find the easiest way to make the designation.