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Concert takes shape

Organizers work to pass key hurdles

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Murmurs of a major concert in Pemberton this summer are growing a bit louder, as organizers continue to cross major planning hurdles.

Shane Bourbonnais is president of North American touring and business development for Live Nation, the international musical event company looking to bring a three-day music festival to the valley this summer.

Since the holidays, Bourbonnais says planning for the festival has really picked up.

“Things are moving along. It’s been pretty much my focus since after Christmas, just to continue to move the ball and try to continue to gain all the approvals. There are so many approvals to gain. It’s pretty amazing, actually. The great thing is, everybody is approving.”

Last week, they made a presentation to the Agricultural Advisory Committee, and received their unanimous support, a move which Bourbonnais says is critical to their plans to bring a concert to the valley.

He says support from local government and agencies has been “amazing,” with everyone from the Village of Pemberton to Vancouver Coastal Health giving them the preliminary go-ahead.

“Everything is going in the right direction,” said Bourbonnais.

So far, they have gotten approval in principle from all the necessary parties except the Agricultural Land Commission, who they plan to meet with next month. Permits have not been issued from all of the agencies that have approved of the plans, but will follow the submission of a more detailed plan by organizers.

While there’s a lot of red tape to cut through and paperwork to complete, Bourbonnais says he understands why the approval processes are in place.

“The bottom line is it’s government’s job is to keep people safe,” he said.

“It has to be done right, and that’s why we’re doing all these necessary steps and making sure everybody is on-board before we pull the pin and make an announcement we’re going to do a show.”

He hopes to be able make an announcement once they receive final approval from each of the necessary agencies sometime in February.

One other site just outside of Toronto is also being considered for the event, and Bourbonnais said that would be the easier choice because they’ve hosted similar shows on that site before.

But Bourbonnais, who calls Pemberton home, is determined to bring the event to his own backyard.

“I want it to come to Pemberton, because that’s where I live, and the people of Pemberton really want it,” he said. “So I really hope that we continue to have the success that we’ve been having, and we’ll have a festival.”

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