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Letter: Organizer is done hosting community events

Chantelle Gorham says it has become too difficult dealing with the City of Greater Sudbury
typewriter pexels-cottonbro-3945337 (From Pexels by Cottonbro)

After 20 years (and careful consideration) Northwest Fudge Factory wishes to announce that we will no longer be hosting the community events that our towns have come to know and love.

This decision comes after years of battling the City of Greater Sudbury for anything of substance in our small town.

What participants don’t see is the fight that each event entails, and the impossible demands heaped on organizers. We don’t have partners within the city – we have adversaries (which is unfortunate). The lifeblood of small communities depends on volunteers, and they are being throttled to the point of extinction by red tape and bureaucracy.  

Any event seems to become a personal challenge for City of Greater Sudbury staff. They don’t make events easier – they make them almost impossible. 

Want to sit on a lawn that the city maintains? You’ll have to come up with $5 million in liability, conduct a full-on traffic survey and erect signage. 

Given that the City of Greater Sudbury has all but given up on our outlying areas, you would think that they would bend over backwards for any group, organization or individual that is willing to pick up the torch and provide quality of life for the residents. 

This absolutely is not the case, and I know I’m not alone in this belief. For lack of a better term, the tail is wagging the dog (and this needs to stop).

The final event (and the final straw) will be the Elvis Fest on Oct. 7. In spite of there being funds in the newly formed Levack Community Action Network fund (for this exact type of event), the City of Greater Sudbury have forced the bill for the entertainment back onto our business and family because “we are also selling donuts” (and you can’t have a community event with a private business taking part at the same time). 

I have tried to explain that without our activities, there would be very little in Levack. This reasoning falls on deaf ears, and I am tired of taking time away from my young family to fight the machine.

We have loved making holidays memorable for your families. We trust that the bike rodeos, cardboard toboggan races, soapbox derbies, Easter egg hunts, Halloween spectaculars, drive by parades, mascot meet and greets, and concerts will be remembered with fondness. 

Perhaps another young family may be up to the challenge, but we are exhausted with trying to do what’s best for our town while running a business and raising a family. I hope in the future that elected officials and salaried employees can take a proactive approach to our town’s needs, and the constant power struggle becomes a thing of the past.

In the meantime, the City of Greater Sudbury can start providing these events. They are responsible for programming and community engagement. Just because residents have done their jobs for decades doesn’t mean they aren’t still obligated to provide a quality of life for those they tax into oblivion.

Chantelle Gorham