My eyes glaze over the moment my board of directors start discussing the marathon’s budget, so when I received a request from my MLA to attend a meeting with Nova Scotia’s Minister of Finance, I actually laughed. I vote, but I don’t consider myself political. Plus calculating my monthly expense report is my least favorite part of my job. What could I possibly have to discuss with Randy Delorey? Turns out we have a lot in common– including the love of running.
I accepted the invitation, because I knew this was a great opportunity for Maritime Race Weekend and was flattered to be considered a “stakeholder” by the province. Before the meeting, I drank a big cup of coffee, because I was expecting it to be a real snooze-fest. To my surprise, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Finance was young, energetic, engaging and didn’t come armed with a boring slideshow of things that I didn’t understand. Instead, he wanted to speak with community members about how the government can help businesses and not-for-profits in Nova Scotia. He didn’t preach about what he thought should be in the budget, he didn’t even reveal what he was going to put in the next budget. Instead, the Minister actually gave the us the floor and wanted to know our opinions on what we think is important. The meeting wasn’t what I expected and I actually found the topics being discussed interesting.
I took this opportunity to briefly explain the biggest financial challenges of organizing a not-for-profit marathon in Nova Scotia and guess what? He listened. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I’ll reassure you that I’m following up with him. We not only will continue to be the most popular event on the East Coast, but we’ll also keep on being financially sustainable. Believe it or not, big events don’t make a lot of profit– if they do at all. As a not-for-profit, what we do make is given back to local community groups.
Tourism generated from Maritime Race Weekend definitely creates significant economic activity for Nova Scotia. I left reassured, the positive impact of Maritime Race Weekend for the province hasn’t gone unnoticed and they plan to help me to continue to encourage Nova Scotians to stay active by running.