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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

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