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No word yet on Raven Mad Daze

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services
Friday, May 11, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - Whether Raven Mad Daze continues this year will depend on its organizer, according to Mayor Gord Van Tighem.

Organizer Lisa Tesar met with the mayor Tuesday to discuss the annual summer street party's fate.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Kids covered in shaving cream has long been a tradition at Raven Mad Daze. Mayor Gord Van Tighem met with organizer Lisa Tesar on Tuesday but she has yet to confirm whether the event will continue. - NNSL photo

When asked if this year's Raven Mad was still a go for June 22, Van Tighem said: "Talk to Lisa, she's the one doing it."

He added "She's never left the 'board' but she is looking at some alternatives."

When reached for comment Wednesday, however, Tesar said she wouldn't be prepared to discuss Raven Mad Daze until Monday.

Raven Mad Daze began in the mid-1970s.

It was originally organized by the Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce as a means for its retail members to clear out excess stock from store shelves.

Stores traditionally stayed open until midnight on the third Friday in June while a street party carried on outside along Franklin Avenue.

Van Tighem said trouble for the event began brewing about 15 years ago when merchants on Old Airport Road began complaining that it was too heavily focused on downtown.

The Chamber subsequently began contracting the event out to a private organizer.

According to the mayor and Chamber president Jim Eirikson, Raven Mad operates solely as a privately-run event these days. Tesar's company is called Bottom Line P/R.

"I know the Chamber is sort of affiliated with it but really it's been in private hands for seven or eight years," said Eirikson.

He said should Tesar decide not to carry on with Raven Mad, the Chamber would try to find some way to continue with the event.

"If she said, 'enough, I don't want to do this any more,' the Chamber would certainly be part of any initiative to keep it going," said Eirikson.