East Coast Music Awards music to the ears of Saint John businesses
The 2017 East Coast Music Awards celebration week wrapped up in Saint John Sunday night, with the previous five days also being a cause of celebration for local businesses.
The event has been a huge boost for the city at what is normally a quiet time of the year. Many businesses are reporting more sales than they've seen in years, leaving them wondering what will be next.
The awards brought out crowds of people, right into the early hours of the morning.
“We've been through a lot of great events, World Curling Canada games, that sort of thing; this has been right up there the last couple days,” says pub owner Peter Ferguson. “Really, really on the right track - and this is just an example of what we can do here with tourism.”
This was the first time the ECMAs had been held in Saint John for 15 years.
“Saint John has been incredible, they have welcomed us with open arms, so much participation from the town, the local people, and the municipality itself has been very supportive,” says ECMA board chairman Dean Stairs. “It’s been a really fabulous experience.”
Saint John's mayor says businesses, especially those in the uptown core, have been enjoying the surge of people.
“Last night, I was a bit hungry and after we finished a showcase I went out for a slice of pizza, and this was several blocks away from the core of the city, and they told me they've had the busiest three days they've had in years,” says Mayor Don Darling.
Darling is anticipating millions of dollars in economic benefits from hosting the event.
“This has been some of the best business they've seen in many, many years,” he says. “It’s very important for us to take that away from the conversation, then post-ECMAs what will be next? When are we going to have the ECMAs back in Saint John again? We'll begin that discussion over the next weeks.”
Halifax is set to host the 2018 East Coast Music Awards.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore