‘It’s certainly a learning moment for us’: Drone show cancellation could cost Victoria taxpayers $25K

'It's certainly a learning moment for us': Drone show cancellation could cost Victoria taxpayers $25K
Victoria city hall is pictured.

The first light-up drone show scheduled for Victoria’s Canada Day celebrations was cancelled at the last minute due to high winds.

Several drones were seen at Laurel Point ready to take flight for the celebrations, but organizers pulled the plug at the last minute without notice to the public.

Planners said there was favourable weather all day that led them to believe the show would be able to go on as scheduled.

Watch the report below:

Victoria cultural planner Jeff Day says it’s difficult to tell at this time how the city will recover its cost to host the drone show.

“Our production company has cancellation clauses with our suppliers, and it’s too early to tell exactly how well we will deploy that at the last minute,” said Day on Tuesday.

“But certainly, we are going to have conversations with our production company to see what we can do to perhaps do this again next year or at some other date in the future.”

The $25,000 drone show cost is part of the $350,000 that Rifflandia Entertainment Co. was given to organize the event.

At its peak, the City of Victoria said almost 50,000 people enjoyed downtown’s Canada Day celebrations.

John Treleaven, chair of the Grumpy Taxpayers of Greater Victoria, hopes the money won’t go to waste.

“All municipal governments all governments need to respect tax payers dollars,” said Treleaven.

“Yes, it’s unfortunate that there was 50 km/h winds … but it was a worthy effort to try it, and I hope that they can come to some arrangement with the company to have another evening in Victoria with that show.”

Many municipalities are contemplating switching from fireworks to drone shows and other celebratory alternatives as they work to address public concerns such as noise pollution, wildfire season risks, wildlife distributions, and overall costs.

City Coun. Chris Coleman told CHEK News he has several alternative ideas that could work instead of fireworks or drone shows.

“Light and sound shows, so you bounce laser images off buildings, you use different types of interactive music, perhaps you put rings in the Inner Harbour and turn them into temporary fountains with light,” said Coleman.

The City of Victoria has not confirmed whether it will be on the hook for the drone show costs or if a later date will be set for the show.

Despite the drone cancellation, the scheduled fireworks show illuminated the skies of the Inner Harbour.

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