Starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Danielle McTaggart started to spend 12 hours on Cultus Lake on a pizza-slice-shaped floatie.
The new Cultus resident isn’t just enjoying the weather, it’s a stunt to raise funds for a charity, Nations Cry, a humanitarian organization that is educating youth in Sierra Leone.
She is hoping to raise $50,000 for the charity, and by 10 a.m. she had already posted videos of the start of her floating day. They are on Facebook and Instagram (@takeasliceoutoflife), and Twitter (@TakeSlice).
And while McTaggart and her husband Drew — who are in Juno-winning band Dear Rouge — plan to donate 100 per cent of the money to the cause, they might also have to put a few dollars aside to pay a fine.
That’s because the Cultus Lake Park Board threatened a fine of a “substantial amount” if she went ahead with her unpermitted fundraiser, which “will be breaking multiple bylaws.”
The following is an email sent on behalf of Cultus Lake Park chief administrative officer Bonny Bryant to The Progress on August 8 one hour before McTaggart started her fundraiser Thursday:
I just read an article you recently wrote about a fundraising event to be held by Danielle McTaggart in Cultus Lake Park on Thursday, August 8 with interest. Unfortunately, Ms. McTaggart appears to have neglected to mention that she does not have approval to hold this event in Cultus Lake Park.
Cultus Lake Park allows Special Events to be held in the Park. We have a process in place that ensures that these events are well-organized, safe and the event participants are responsible. We ensure that the event organizer and participants understand and respect that Cultus Lake Park is a public park that attracts visitors from the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and around the world. It is also home to residential and commercial leaseholders. Those who would like to hold a Special Event in the Park must apply for – and be granted – a permit.
Recently, Ms. McTaggart contacted Park staff saying that she wanted to hold a fundraising event for charity in the Park. Unfortunately, she had missed the deadline to apply for her event date, did not pay the application or event fees, and does not have the necessary insurance. She was told that she could not hold an event without going through the proper process and being granted a permit. When she was informed of this, she stated that she was going to hold her event anyway.
Should Ms. McTaggart hold this unauthorized event today, she will be fined a substantial amount of money as she will be breaking multiple bylaws and does not have an event permit for Cultus Lake Park. Park staff worked diligently so that this would not happen, but Ms. McTaggart has refused to comply with the Special Event application and permit process – and from the description of her event will be breaking multiple additional bylaws.
While we applaud her intention to raise money for a charity, it is crucial that those who want to hold Special Events meet the requirements as set out by Cultus Lake Park’s Special Event Bylaw No. 1150, 2019. This is in place for the safety, security and comfort of all that visit, live and work at Cultus Lake Park.
Bonny Bryant, Chief Administrative Officer
Cultus Lake Park