Where will Salmon Fest be next year?

The Salmon Fest organizers have been at Clutesi Haven Marina for long enough to have a setup they like, making moving difficult.

Port Alberni’s Salmon Fest has no plans to move anywhere for next year, despite persistent talks about a move to Harbour Quay.

“The materialization of that, there’s still a huge amount of details to work out,” said Salmon Fest president Dan Washington.

“I would speculate… I don’t know if we’re going to move at all.”

According to Washington, one possibility would be moving the festival to land the Port Alberni Port Authority recently purchased beside Western Forest Products’ Somass Mill.

The port authority intends to build a fuel dock in the area.

“So there’s a possibility of moving there.”

It’s looking like a brighter possibility than Harbour Quay.

“Not being able to use the port authority property (at the quay), it just sort of crams everything down there. Parking becomes a premium.

“Displacing the merchants who do pay rent down there [Harbour Quay]  is a problem,” he added.

The Salmon Fest organizers have been at Clutesi Haven Marina for long enough to have a setup they like, making moving difficult.

“Where we are now, we’re not displacing any of the merchants down there because there really aren’t any.”

V.I. Fries, who operate at Clutesi, have it written into their agreement that they must vacate for Salmon Fest weekend.

But Salmon Fest might have to figure out a new location for next year anyway.

The city and PAPA’s new lease for Clutesi Haven Marina includes a clause that a request for proposal for development must be issued by the end of 2015.

Currently, the only requirement is that the new development contain public washrooms but Washington (who is a current city councillor) is hoping for more.

“We’re hoping for bigger and better things there,” said Washington.

“It’s very hard to say… [Salmon Fest] hasn’t looked that far ahead, we’re just concentrating on this year’s festival.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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