Canadian Snowbirds to soar over Parry Sound this June
Posted on Jan 23, 2018 by Brad McCabe

Look up! Look way up — the Snowbirds are coming to Parry Sound.

At a special meeting of Town of Parry Sound council on Jan. 16, council approved a $10,000 contribution to the event that will have the group flying “low and loud” over the Parry Sound harbour.

Due to an unexpected opening in their schedule, the military aerobatics pilots offered the Wednesday, June 13 opening to the town and the idea brought forward at council’s regular Jan. 16 meeting.

Direction was given for staff to investigate and prepare a report and recommendation, but the town needed to move quickly, as there was another town ready to take the spot, should Parry Sound decline.
“We have a date and would could lose that date if we don’t step up and take it,” said Parry Sound Mayor Jamie McGarvey.

Two issues that were immediately raised at the Jan. 16 meeting were cost and who would be the point of contact (POC) for the event, which staff said is “no small undertaking.”

James Massie, cottager and POC for the Snowbirds’ visit to Barrie last year, agreed to assist the town, however, that still left the cost factor and staff time that would be taken up with such a huge event.

“The amount of boots-on-the-ground work is considerable, especially given that the location of the event — referred to as the Show Box — will be the town’s waterfront,” said Lynn Middaugh, town director of development and leisure services. “Security is of primary importance requiring planning and coordination with Transport Canada, the Coast Guard, the OPP among others. Marketing, promotion, financial and organizing experience will be essential. The Parry Sound Area (Municipal) Airport will be the staging area for the Snowbirds.”

Middaugh said although a contribution hasn’t been finalized, Seguin Township, the Township of the Archipelago and Lakeland Power have all agreed to support the event that is expected to cost upwards of $40,000.

Coun. Brad Horne suggested if there ends up being an excess of funds raised, that they be donated to a local charity.

“While this support can’t be quantified at this time, it does provide a reasonable indication and assurance that the town will not be going this alone. It is very early at this stage to be able to secure sponsorship,” she said.

Council approved the creation of an ad hoc committee with councillors Paul Borneman and Doug McCann sitting with one member of staff and several community members.

“We’re going to have to rely not only on sponsorship, but pretty heavily on volunteers to make this happen,” Borneman said. “The town obviously doesn’t have a fleet to cordon off the harbour in such that’s required for this to happen. We’re going to need assistance from others in order to make this happen.”

And if the weather is too poor for the Snowbirds to fly — the town is just plain out of luck.

“Is it cancelled, is there a rain date? Or is it simply, ‘thanks for coming out?’” asked Coun. Horne tongue-in-cheek.

“From what I can understand, we’ll be out of luck because their schedule is very, very tight,” said McCann.

“Just like fireworks,” chuckled McGarvey.

The June 13 event is expected to include a charity community barbecue at the town’s waterfront with all proceeds going to the show and any surplus to a charity. The hour long show is expected to start at 5 p.m

Article by Stephannie Johnson as posted on

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