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At the last games in June, the weather was great, the attendance was huge and the massed bands were wonderful. BUT, the games are in financial trouble. There was no fence so there were no admission fees and instead they relied on donations. These were not enough. I had heard that they were also relying on the concert the night before by the visiting star band from Scotland. But it was expensive to stage and attendance was poor – partly because it was not patronised as expected by all the visiting Canadian band-members.   Overall the loss for the weekend was $75,000. In addition, the Highland Games committee borrowed $10,000 in 2007; they have paid $1000 off that and with interest, $11,250 is still owed.

Highland Games2013 Highland GamesAt Monday’s Council meeting, the Games Committee requested a loan of $85,000 to cover both the $75,000 and the $11,250. They offered to pay it back at $1500 a month for 5 years. This would be achieved by intensive year round fund-raising. They cannot get a loan from any bank but the town could borrow at 2.25% and lend it to them. In essence, they asked the town to take the risk that they would not be able to pay it back.

When asked what would happen if they did not get the loan, they said it would mean the end of the games. They admitted there was no “Plan B”.

Miriam Mutton talked about the possibility of the town taking over management and responsibility but the town does not have the staff to do that. However, some variation of this may yet be a way to salvage the games.

Stan Frost as Deputy Mayor and responsible for the budget was against providing a loan. His motion to deny it was passed and the games will NOT get their loan.

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