Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


West Coast Blues Downtown Shuffle ~ Goderich
New Name ~ Same Great Music!
THE INSIDE SCOOP” is pleased to continue the share the “Scoop” with the West Coast Blues (aka WCB) from the committee chair, Mr. John Harrison. I have had the pleasure of several conversations with both John and colleague, Don Hubick, who both are very passionate about the “Blues” and their Community!
Most Festivals and Events depend on Volunteers. Volunteers are the Key to Success! As Ontario Visited has asked many organizers in the past, particularly focusing our interviews on techniques in managing so many volunteers.  Today we can share with you what John Harrison; Committee Chair has to say about these invaluable Volunteers … “We have our work broken down into committees tied in with specific duties with a person in charge of each committee”. “We value our volunteers and show our appreciation by giving free tickets and merchandise (T-shirts, caps etc)”.
With costs rising and competition becoming challenging for Festivals and Events, we asked the West Coast Blues Downtown Shuffle committee chair how they obtained funding. John tells us … “local government, newspaper, radio station, provincial grants, local business and industry, development of a sponsorship program (Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels)”. To continue, John shares with us how they keep sponsors happy and interested … “Sponsors are clearly listed on all advertising, marketing and promotional materials free tickets to our events, VIP tables”. And finally, in our discussion about funding, we asked John how our governments play a role in assisting with this event … he replies … “in-kind and financial supports, on line listings”. All of these aspects are great to keep in mind and be aware of when looking at the financial picture.
THE SCOOP … A FUN ANECDOTE … It is always fun when someone I an interviewing shares a fun Anecdote. Here is what John Harrison, Committee Chair shares with us today … “Our very first festival in 2006, we had the late Mel Brown, the Canadian godfather of the Blues perform on our Main Stage. After the show I was talking with Mel and he wished us luck and gave us a good piece of advise, " Keep your event on the same date each year, don't try to get too big too quickly, keep you event small and do it well and if you are still around  5 years, then you will have a festival." Wise words that ring true to this day. 

We hope you have enjoyed these Series of Blog “Scoop” Articles with the West Coast Blues Downtown Shuffle experiences. You can check out their website at http://www.westcoastblues.ca/Welcome.html .

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