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Vancouver inauguration costs: More than a breadbox, less than Obama

January 21st, 2009 · 6 Comments

On the occasion of Barack Obama’s historic inauguration, I was reminded that I asked the city’s communications department a couple of weeks ago for a total on the inauguration costs for the new Vancouver city council.

Various Non-Partisan Association types have been muttering for weeks about the costs, with their estimate of the total going up almost by the hour. One even told me that $40,000 or $70,000 worth of improvements to the community centre were done in advance of the normal infrastructure schedule to make it more inauguration-worthy. I never did check into that, but the department sent me a breakdown of the straight inauguration costs a while ago, just so I could put it up on the webosphere for the record. Now every nitpicky civic columnist (oh, I’m the only one?) can have this number available when they write the historical record of the Robertson administration.

So here it is, your entertainment break from the Olympic village. Please note that inauguration ceremonies always cost SOMETHING, so you need to subtract the costs of what a normal inauguration would cost from the total here before calibrating your outrage or indifference.

Total cost: $88,830
Fixed costs (would be used for City Hall ceremony):
Mace and chain cleaning: $5,000
Badges: $3500
Invitations: $500
Program: $750
Signage: $250
Photography: $1,500
GVTV: $3000
Flowers/coursages: $1,400
Catering: $12,000
= 27,900
Costs for items used at Ceremony, but to be used again
Stage drapery: $3000
Stage banners/art work: $19,500 (the art work was done by Richard Tetrault, who won a Mayor’s arts award from Sam Sullivan in 2006, and there are ongoing discussions about donating it to a centre)
= 22,500
One-time costs for holding it at Sunset
Catering: $12,000 (catering total was $24,000: fixed cost + 1 time cost for holding it open to public)
Furniture rentals: $5,000
Bus transportation: $1,000
Security: $1,000
Venue rental: $1,430
Entertainment: $1,500
Stage manager: $1,500
Stage, A/V set-up: $15,000
= 38,430

Categories: Uncategorized

  • EVan

    I know this is listed in the fixed cost category, but still…$5,000 for mace & chain clearing? I’m hoping there are 2 extra zeroes as a result of a typo.

  • It’s all pretty expensive for a swearing in of a elected member of government.

    Truly, not like Gods, these people are.


    Gölök Zoltán Leenderdt Franco-Assisi Buday
    “As you have the power, sir, to do some service to letters, I implore you not to clip the wings of our writers so closely, nor turn into barndoor fowls those who, allowed a start, might become eagles; reasonable liberty permits the mind to soar–slavery makes it creep.” — Voltaire [A Letter To A First Commissioner]

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  • tommi

    How does this compare to past inauguration expenses?

  • Wagamuffin

    OK, I would have had a megaphone, a couple of boxes of TimBits, and used my cellphone camera to record the proceedings had I been invested as Mayor of our fair metropolis.

    Total cost to the taxpayer: $7.50.

    I will be running on the austerity ticket, next election.

  • A. G. Tsakumis

    How much was that again to get the scotch stains and venom off the chain of office???

    Worth every godamned penny.