Celtic Thunder in concert October 27 at Mosaic Place

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Looking for a new plan of attack, the interim general manager of Mosaic Place wants to break down barriers between the Downtown Facility and Fieldhouse and city council.

City Manager Jim Puffalt is serving that role after the former GM was fired during the board scandal this year over the way employee concerns were handled, eventually leading to the board being dismantled and three councillors handed sanctions for their involvement.

Puffalt wants to provide quarterly reports to city council while also aggressively pursuing events, concerts, and tournaments. Things that were expected of past boards but were never fully realized.

"What I tried to relay to council is that, regardless of the DFFH and city council, all of us work for the same people and that's the citizens of Moose Jaw," explained Puffalt.

One of the major selling points of Mosaic Place is that it would be used as a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from across the province with concerts and other sporting events. While the facility saw early success, the number of third-party events has waned in recent years due to the controversy surrounding the DFFH board. Since first opening the doors, there have been two boards disbanded and two general managers.

One of the problems that council had with the hosting of shows and concerts was that the board had refused to disclose financial figures associated with bringing in performers, citing industry standards on the secrecy surrounding contracts. Past board members had argued that disclosing what their contracts were, might jeopardize the bidding process on future shows. Council argued they had a right to know if the shows or events were making money or losing taxpayer dollars.

"Rather than basing out critique on the work being done there on one event, we should look on a yearly basis and see how we've done," explained Puffalt. "But we should report to the community and council after each show to let people know how we've done."

Puffalt would also like to establish a new $100,000 event reserve in US dollars to help in the process of attracting outside shows.

Council has tabled the proposal to a November meeting for further discussion.

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