Timmins city council is giving the green light to spend $3.5 million to bring an eight day fireworks and music festival into the city. It’s called the Festival of Fireworks, and will have countries from around the world launch their own fireworks display. On the eighth and final day, which will be the 150th Canada Day, the Canadian fireworks will be launched. The fireworks will go from Goldcorp’s Hollinger berm, and the concerts will be in the Hollinger Park.

Mayor Steve Black says the event will break even if 15,000 tickets are sold. Critics of the plan say it is a gamble with taxpayer’s money, but Black says the concert promoters are confident. He says the city is also taking steps to lower the risk. That includes paying bands half of their fee upfront, and the other half if it sells out, like the promoters say it will. There is no word yet on who the bands will be, but the city will announce names once they are confirmed.

Councillor Rick Dubeau, who was one of two to vote against the plan, says this is essentially giving Black a blank cheque for $3.5 million. He says this approval is showing a lack of respect for taxpayers, who are footing the bill. He also questions why it was pushed through in one night, when it was first discussed in a meeting behind closed doors about a month ago.

Black says the city needed to get the approval pushed through in order to sign contracts with the bands and to get work on the fireworks displays underway.

Photo: The budget breakdown for the event. Supplied by Mayor Steve Black.

Photo: The budget breakdown for the event. Supplied by Mayor Steve Black.