Over the past number of months, many of the Chamber articles have talked about change and that change is certainly not a bad thing.  We all go through changes and we do one of two things: adapt and embrace change or fight it!  The latter can be extremely frustrating because like it or not, things and life are always going to change.

Speaking of change, the announcement by the Summer in the Park committee, certainly falls within this topic.  The move to Memorial Gardens and Thompson Park for the August weekend is a substantial change for the festival but in saying that, the writer believes this to be positive change.  The weather proofing of the concert(s) is probably the single most radical change that the event has undertaken since the inception of this weekend.

The most risk and vulnerability that past Committee’s of both The Heritage Festival and its successor, Summer in the Park, has always been, Mother Nature.  I can remember a comment made by our former Mayor Vic Fedeli, after a successful weekend concert series “We were five rain drops away from having a financial disaster”.  Unfortunately, that part of the weekend has always been and always will be, out of our control when outdoor concerts are involved.  The cost of bringing these events to our City always had to be paid no matter what the weather.

There will always be critics and arm-chair quarterbacks who wish and long for, the way things used to be.  In my humble opinion, the Committee has not made the decision to change, just for the sake of change.  Funding, sponsorship, competition, risk mitigation and of course Mother Nature has been the impetus for change.  The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce welcomes the change and the new chapter of our festival that is about to unfold.

For as long as the “Festival” has been around, The Chamber has been involved and assisted in many of the undertakings.  For the last five years Charles Elliott of Edward Jones, the incoming Chair of the Chamber Board, has co-chaired the event and although he has resigned from the committee, two of our members, Director Thomas Brown of BuzzMasters and Curvefront Digital Marketing and Emily Ryan from IION are at the Committee table.

The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce thanks past committee members for their commitment and involvement and wishes the best of luck to the 2018 Committee.  We will continue to support this North Bay August long weekend event and look forward to the next announcements regarding the programming.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.