Harley Riders seek Canada Day clarification

A member of the Harley Riders is displeased he wasn’t able to set up a space to sell raffle tickets on Canada Day within Mariner’s Park

A member of the Harley Riders is displeased he wasn’t able to set up a space to sell raffle tickets on Canada Day within Mariner’s Park and is seeking some clarification in the special event sign-up process.

Chris Rose, Prince Rupert Harley Riders club president, approached the Prince Rupert Special Events Society to sell raffle tickets for a motorcycle to benefit the Kaien Island Anti-Poverty Society (KAPS) and the North Coast Health Improvement Society (NCHIS), but was unable to secure a spot for his booth.

“We were going to help out with those two [causes] and this was our first ever Harley raffle because we’re a society now – we’re all registered with the gaming branch,” said Rose.

“[I was told I couldn’t come on-site] because [Special Events] gets inundated by over 180 service groups and [was told] ‘We just can’t let you do it’.”

Rose set up down the street from Mariner’s Park – the designated area for Canada Day festivities, and sold the tickets there, instead.

In response to the request, Joy Sundin of Special Events said that the timing of the application could have been sooner as Rose submitted his notice the morning of Canada Day.

“He approached us on the day, which isn’t very fair to the organizers,” said Sundin.

“If you organize a party or event and you’re open to everybody, people are welcome to come and do things, but if somebody wants to capitalize on your administrative abilities to bring all these people together, that’s pretty tough stuff,” she continued, adding that had Rose made his request further in advance, the Harley Riders’ booth might have been able to be accommodated.

“I just feel [that] we’re trying to help out this community and we have for over 34 years and now we’re getting shuffled to the background,” said Rose, who added that Special Events did allow the Harley Riders space on Third Avenue in front of The Belmont during Seafest in June to put on a motorcycle rodeo.

“We don’t normally allow people to just come and sell tickets, especially when they notify us at the last minute,” said Barb Gruber of Special Events.

“We plan it for months ahead of time. We do a drawing of the park, where everything is to be set up, where everything is to be placed … I suggested to Chris [that morning] if they plan on doing a raffle next year, to come to one of our board meetings and speak to us. That way, the board can make a decision and if they were agreeable a place would be set up for them,” said Gruber, adding that a list of scheduled meetings can be found at the Special Events office.