Sidney events group earns praise from local leaders

SEAG continues to promote local events, create ideas for new ones.

Lily Jenson of Victoria works on her Lego creation during Family Day in 2016.

Lily Jenson of Victoria works on her Lego creation during Family Day in 2016.

Since 2013, the Sidney Events Advisory Group (SEAG) has helped streamline local activities, reduce duplication and conflicts and earned thousands of dollars in media attention.

That was part of a summary delivered Monday night by Susan Simosko, chair of the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society (SBIA), whose organization is also tasked with heading up the SEAG. She was speaking to Sidney town council during their committee of the whole meeting.

Simosko said Sidney and the SBIA, when it was first formed nearly five years ago, signed a memorandum of understanding that the SBIA would use some of its funding to form the events advisory group. Its purpose, she explained, was to identify resources and providers of events, arts band cultural activities in Sidney and help co-ordinate their efforts. The goal has been to bring in more people and make Sidney a hub of cultural activity.

SEAG today, she continued, has 14 members. Two new groups — the Sidney Library and SHOAL Centre — joined in 2016.

Simosko said SEAG has worked to foster more collaboration, confidence in trust among its members. It has also worked to attract new events, such as conferences and activities like the annual Family Day Festival, Treat Street (Halloween) and Christmas in Sidney.

In 2016 alone, Simosko said they estimate more than $100,000 in media coverage was earned on local activities directly marketed by SEAG and the SBIA.

As well, last year saw more than 42,000 page visits to the SBIA website events calendar.

Looking ahead to this year, Simosko said SEAG is working on a planing session in April with an eye on attracting new events to Sidney.

“We are going to look at what is already offered here,” she said, “and what could be added in the future.”

Most of Town council praised Simosko for her dedication to both the SBIA and SEAG. Mayor Steve Price added the Town has become busier and more vibrant since the SBIA was formed.

Simosko said more details on SEAG’s plans for this year will come after their April session.