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Nova Scotia taxpayers funded $600,000 for Paul McCartney concert

By Andrew Moran     Apr 15, 2010 in Politics
Halifax - It was verified this week that last summer's Paul McCartney concert was partially funded by Nova Scotia taxpayers. How much did the province spend with taxpayers’ money? $600,000, it was reported.
On Tuesday, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter verified that taxpayers footed $600,000 for last summer’s Paul McCartney concert, according to The Canadian Press. Nova Scotia, which will have the highest HST rate in Canada, spent $600,000 on advertising and logistical support.
The Premier also said a $3.5 million guarantee was offered to cover McCartney’s artist fee but never took place because the ticket sales were able to pay for that fee. However, the ticket sales weren’t enough to cover the costs of the entire event.
Around 50,000 people attended the McCartney concert.
“We thought that $600,000, as an investment, was a lot of money for the province in any event, and the fact that the province was potentially on the hook for the $3.5-million guarantee. It seemed like we had, far and away, done the lion’s share with respect to that particular promotion,” said Dexter, reports the Chronicle Herald.
Dexter quickly laid the blame on the previous Conservative government who made the commitment and had administered a marketing campaign through its Tourism Department.
The Nova Scotia Premier said the province got its money worth because of the revenue generated through its HST, which is estimated to be about $2.8 million. Dexter did not rule out any future investments in concerts but did state the government would be more cautious this time, according to CBC News.
The next big concert for the eastern province is the Black Eyed Peas concert on July 24 at the Halifax Common. So far the government has not been asked for any funding.
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