ACOA money went to support Snoop Dogg concert

Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation gave $36,000 grant and $145,000 loan to Captive Promotions

Last year, just as provincial crown corporation Trade Centre Limited was losing $159,550 loaned to a concert promoter in Halifax, the federal crown corporation Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation was propping up a promoter in Sydney with a $145,000 loan and a $36,000 grant.

ECBC, which falls under the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, gave the money to Captive Communications and Promotions to put put on the Snoop Dogg concert on the Sydney waterfront last August 8. The loan was issued July 28, 2010, and the grant was issued July 30, 2010.

The $36,000 was used to buy radio ads in Moncton, Halifax and Newfoundland, says Stephen Tobin of Captive. The $145,000 loan was working capital, and was paid back the night of the concert. About 6,000 people attended the show, says Tobin.

The ill-fated Black Eyed Peas and Alan Jackson shows in Halifax were held July 24 and August 7, respectively.

"I don't agree that the government shouldn't be involved [with concerts]," says Tobin. "I think there is a role for government to play. I don't think it has to be as significant an allocation as we saw in Halifax."

ECBC claims the Snoop Dogg concert brought an economic impact of exactly $1 million, but has not provided any documentation for that claim. "ECBC has not provided assistance to other major concerts in the area or for the upcoming Elton John concert," says communication director D.A. Landry.

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