Moncton city staff scuttle proposal for Muddy River Festival

Moncton city staff quietly killed a proposal to hold a Muddy River Festival this summer in Moncton, much to the surprise of city councillors.

Councillors surprised they weren't told about idea to build on excitement of tidal bore surfing

Moncton city staff quietly killed a proposal to hold a Muddy River Festival this summer in Moncton, much to the surprise of city councillors.

A volunteer group headed by Michel Desjardins made a proposal to the city in November to stage a festival to build on last summer's excitement surrounding people surfing the tidal bore in the Petitcodiac River.

Four professional surfers established a North American record by surfing 29-kilometres from Belliveau Village to the Petitcodiac River causeway between Moncton and Riverview.

City council in Moncton says it was never told about a proposal for a festival to celebrate the tidal bore and build on last summer's excitement about surfing the wave. (CBC)
City staff turned down the idea of a festival on the riverbank because the proposal was made too late and there was no funding remaining for 2014 events, but agreed to think about it for 2015.

City councillors say they are surprised they were never told about the proposal.

"I'm sad as a councillor that it wasn't brought to council because I think that this is something that council does feel quite passionately about," said Coun. Dawn Arnold.

Coun. Charles Leger says councillors should have been told about the possibility of a festival.

"I'm certainly very surprised to hear about the festival first of all and it's certainly something that I'm really excited about," said Leger. "Why not put our heads together and figure out what we can do and is there something we can do this year?"

Leger says the city can't afford to dither on such initiatives.

"We have budgets, but I think we have to look and seize opportunities so I'm open to looking at things and saying, `Okay, what can we do and let's make things happen. We have to start small so why don't we start right now.'"

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