The City of Ottawa has released (though it said repeatedly it could not release this figure) the amount of money raised for Ottawa 2017 (by the way that is ‘Ottawa 2017’ not ‘Canada 2017’ though the 150th anniversary is Canada’s. No word if organizers considered calling it Jim Watson 2018).
That figure is $28.1 million from private and public sources.
And what are we getting for $28.1 million? Among other things, a giant fire-breathing lizard walking through the streets. Apparently it symbolizes the great contribution that low-slung slithering beasts made to the founding of our great country.
Photo above: Winnipeg’s very useful Centennial Concert Hall.
In Manitoba in 1967, the provincial government built Centennial Concert Hall as a lasting legacy of century celebration of Canada and as a redevelopment project. It cost $8 million.
Now a half-century later, the concert hall has become an integral part of Winnipeg’s thriving cultural scene. Its stage is used by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Opera and touring Broadway shows. It has had stars such as Winnipeg’s own Neil Young, Tony Bennett, B.B. King and Drake trod its boards.
Great anniversaries are times to build lasting, useful monuments in our communities. Centennial Concert Hall is one of the best examples of the 1967 celebration.
Now the City of Ottawa has $28.1 million for the 150th and what are we getting? A big lizard.
We might not get a great building in Ottawa for 2017 but in our minds we will always have the lizard.
La Machine is to come to Ottawa 2017: That’s some big lizard.
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