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Will the promise of Memorial Gardens be realized in 2018?

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The upcoming Women’s World Curling Championships is on the minds of City Council after a presentation from organizers Tuesday.

The expected windfall from visitors and the opportunity to sell the city to the world has tourism and local business counting the days until the March event.

But what about the building that will host the games themselves?

Councillor Derek Shogren acknowledges that it has not been smooth sailing when it comes to the Gardens but is excited about the possibilities that the building creates for North Bay.

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Shogren says a recent Paw Patrol children’s show sold out and the decision to move the Summer in the Park festival adjacent to the Gardens, with the concerts being held inside, will only increase activity and economic impact at the often maligned community hub.

After promises that the Gardens would be marketed as a big-events centre, Shogren says that the tide has turned in that respect. Shogren says that the urgency to finish renovating Memorial Gardens may have pushed things such as the sound system and trucks accessing the complex to the backburner for too long.

He says he’s taking the approach of “better late than never,” now that construction issues that prevented concerts from being held at the Gardens have been rectified.

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