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AVICC sets course for Ucluelet

Political discourse will run rampant through the streets of Ucluelet during the weekend of April 13 as the mayors and councils of 51 municipalities and regional districts arrive in the community.

The Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) has chosen Ucluelet as the destination for its 63 rd annual general meeting and convention. AVICC is the oldest established area association within the Union of BC Municipalities.

It’s a significant coup for the relatively small district and Ucluelet’s parks and recreation director Abby Fortune believes much of the bid’s success can be attributed to the Ucluelet Community Centre (UCC) coming online.

The UCC was still in development when the district put in its bid to host this year’s convention two years ago. It will now be tasked with accommodating an attendance list that’s expected to top 250.

Fortune is excited to see the centre prove its ability to host such a large convention and is hoping this is a sign of things to come for the district.

“One of the hopes and dreams with this facility is for us to be able to host these kinds of events,” she says.

“This is a jumping off point for us to see how this facility works for a convention. It’s a very large convention and we want to be able to host things like this in the long term,” she adds.

According to Fortune, Ucluelet has hosted an AVICC convention in the past however, “that was over 15 years ago, and there were only about 125 people then, so it was on a much smaller scale.”

Ucluelet’s Black Rock Resort will supplement the centre’s space by hosting Friday night’s reception. The UCC will host a reception on Saturday night catered by Norwoods.

The district also plans to rent a large tent to be used during AVICC’s tradeshow.

The rental cost of this tent will be the event’s largest budget item and is expected to chomp over $5,000 out of the $12,000 the district has allocated for the convention.

The remaining budget will be put towards putting Ucluelet’s best foot forward, says Fortune.

The AVICC covers all costs associated with the convention itself and also organizes the speakers and presentations.

Decorations have been ordered and staffing is being organized to ensure Ucluelet makes a lasting impression on convention participants.

Fortune hopes to enlist the services of local youth to assist with staffing needs.

The centre will be rewarded for its role in motivating the AVICC to accept Ucluelet’s bid for the event through a boost to its inventory.

Items purchased for the weekend, such as coffee pots and table clothes, will stay in the facility adding an additional benefit to showing off its features to convention participants.

“We’re trying to bump up our inventory through this so we’ll be getting a kick-back in the end by being able to keep some of the stuff,” Fortune says.

She feels any kick-back the UCC receives will be dwarfed by the kick-back the community receives from the commerce and esteem the convention is expected to bring to Ucluelet.

Source: Andrew Bailey, Westerly News

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