Only $5,000 remains in the events budget for the academic year
Christine Beyleveldt // News Editor
With files from Greta Kooy
Less than a month into the fall semester, the Capilano Students’ Union (CSU) has already spent 80 per cent of its annual events budget on a single function – Captivate.
The back-to-school party set up in the Cedar courtyard for the duration of the afternoon on Sept. 14, cost the CSU $20,000 to host. The festivities included food trucks, a beer garden, as well as DJs JP Valdes, Coach Bombay, Grayson Epp and Fishy. Only $5,000 remains in the budget, which must last the rest of the year.
Yats Palat, vice president student life, explained that he had been planning Captivate since May, and that it was the biggest party the CSU has ever hosted on campus to date. North Vancouver has a different culture than the rest of Vancouver, so he worked closely with production house Blueprint University to sub-design the playlist and tailor the musical lineup to Capilano University tastes. Tracks included pop songs and oldies from the early 2000s, which proved to be a hit with attendees.
Since it was the first event the CSU hosted this year, Palat said it was natural they couldn’t get a lot of support from sponsors. CIBC and Student Care contributed $2,750 between them toward the cost of the event, which totalled closer to $22,700, but Palat’s main concern was ensuring the event would be free. He explained that it would have cost significantly less if it had been ticketed.
The after party at Celebrities nightclub was ticketed, despite Palat’s wish to keep events free for students. It also wasn’t a CSU sanctioned event. Rather, students in conjunction with Axis Entertainment organized it and originally used the CSU’s branding and the Captivate logo without their permission. “We would never have charged tickets at an after party,” he said, “No matter how much time, effort or money it took for Captivate, I wanted it to be free to students.”
The CSU has gambled before on extravagant events. Three years ago, they hosted Rock the Boat for the first time, which put them at an expected loss of $7,600 when the bill totalled over $15,000 with ticket sales. Despite its initial cost, Rock the Boat was a success by the numbers and has become an annual year-end party that draws hundreds of students.
Palat shared Captivate’s attendance numbers at a Sept. 22 Board of Directors meeting. He had hoped 650 students would turn out to the event and that at
least 400 would pass through the beer garden. In total, 1,400 students came to Captivate and 880 went into the beer garden. According to Palat, the CSU hopes to host Captivate again. President and vice president nance and services, Perry Safari, indicated to the board that many students who were asked at the event likewise said they wished to see a repeat of it next year.
As for managing the remainder of the budget and making it last for the rest of the year, Palat indicated that future events might be ticketed to ensure the CSU can successfully manage them. “We knew [Captivate] would take 80 per cent of the budget, so it was expected,” he said. “The entire board approved of it almost unanimously.” However, the board of directors hasn’t passed planning tools for any other campus events for the rest of the year to date. Clubs and Collectives Day went ahead on Sept. 21 in the CSU Members Centre, and also drew more students than anticipated. However, the initiative drew from a different line of budget and didn’t affect the $5,000 that remains in the annual events budget.
There were also a few noise complaints throughout the day. Palat explained that he had informed the neighbours of Captivate in advance and the Capilano Faculty Association (CFA). He requested to have classes in the Cedar building moved temporarily as well, although instructors didn’t receive the notice until school had started again for the semester. Despite the cost, Palat and the rest of the CSU consider Captivate to have been a success.