NS: Promoter will go ahead with Metallica

Alex Boutilier
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Metro Halifax

HRM, Harold MacKay come to agreement on $359,550 shortfall

Harold MacKay - Ryan Taplin/Metro

[HALIFAX, NS] - A deal has been stuck between HRM and MacKay Entertainment Inc.

The agreement ensures the Metallica concert, scheduled for July 14 on the Garrison Grounds, will go on as planned.

But the specifics about the deal were difficult to ascertain at a hastily scheduled press conference with concert spokesperson and promoter Harold MacKay and the municipality’s chief administrative officer, Richard Butts, late yesterday.

At MacKay’s lawyer’s office in Dartmouth, Butts announced all negotiations surrounding the July 14 concert have been concluded.

“We resolved all outstanding issues and we’re satisfied with the resolution,” Butts said, flanked by a municipal lawyer. When asked how those issues had been resolved, he said “through negotiations” with MacKay.

It was revealed on Monday that HRM was considering pulling its support for the show. At issue was a $359,550 bill delivered to the municipality from Trade Centre Limited, part of a forgivable loan issued to MacKay’s former company by HRM’s former top administrator for two outdoor concerts in 2010.

Council gave Butts direction to try to find ways to recoup the loss. But councillors were apparently blindsided when media reports on Monday suggested HRM was threatening to withhold services necessary for the concert until the bill was paid.

That resulted in a closed-door session of council that lasted almost two hours yesterday. Afterward,  councillors and Mayor Peter Kelly directed questions to “administration.”

Coun. Sue Uteck, a vocal opponent of Kelly and critic of his role in the scandal, said council agreed as a group to offer no comment.

But Butts left the door open for the possibility of recouping the money from other sources.

“There are exposures for various parties in this, and how those play out is not predictable,” Butts said.

Organizations: Metallica, Trade Centre

Geographic location: Dartmouth

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Recent comments

  • Andrea Kelter
    June 29, 2011 - 13:55

    I hope Mayor Kelley is involved too - he's big in the "give taxpayer money to the undeserving and unworthy" business, isn't he? I suggest these politicians be asked to co-sign these loans, so when the MacKay's don't pay up - the politicians will have to! Bet they'll be a lot less eager to lend the MacKay's money if their own assets are on the line!

  • Dave H
    June 29, 2011 - 06:51

    I guess nows the time to nominate Harold and Michelle MacKay for Mayor and Mayoress of Halifax, They seem to know all of the angles to get what they want and have small buisness and the taxpayer pay for it. Let's get serious people is the only way to promote Halifax through concerts,Lets spend the $100's of thousands of dollars on cleaning up the city and making it look inviting and caring,20,000 rowdy and intoxicated party goers would go to a gravel pit for a Metallica concert and the Mackays could hold it somewhere outside of the city. Its time to spend money that has longer term benefits and not just one party nite.

  • getreal
    June 29, 2011 - 06:47

    Secrecy is usually a bad sign. Idea note to Bruce MacKinnon: HRM councillors holding up the corner of a large rug with Kelly and MacKay sweeping dirt under it, everyone with zippered lips. Maybe dress them all like Keystone Kops.