Supporters of a proposed event centre in Thunder Bay say they want to send a message to investors that many city residents want the project to go ahead.

Jason Susin, who chairs the group Citizens for a Waterfront Event Centre, said the group will rally volunteers to start planning a public show of support within the next few weeks.

“It's gonna be a great thing for Thunder Bay. It's gonna be a great thing for the region, so we just think the time is right," he said.

More than 1,000 people have shown their support for an event centre on Facebook, and that total is growing, Susin said.

He says if it's found to be feasible, a new arena and convention centre will be a great economic generator for the city.

The group wants to reward city councillors for the work they're doing to research the event centre, and make sure people are getting the right facts and information about the project, Susin said.

'We're ready for it'

The group is known on Facebook as Citizens for a North Core Multiplex, but Susin said they are starting to form a formal committee.

He said the group hopes to have a recruitment rally in the next few weeks to gather volunteers to help organize an event in the future. The aim of the event will be to show investors that people in Thunder Bay want the events centre.

"We want to show private investors, we want to show the Thunder Bay LIVE! group, that citizens want this and we're ready for it,” he said, referring to the group of investors that has expressed interest in being the city's private sector partner on the project.

As for those who oppose the event centre, Susin said they have some valid concerns, but he doesn't see the need for a plebiscite.

"You've got to take every issue very seriously, and their concerns are warranted,” he said. “But as far as a plebiscite, I think having an election this fall … will speak for itself."

Susin also manages the Facebook page known as Opportunity Thunder Bay, where people discuss community developments and opportunities for growth.