New GM, Graham Edge, Speaks About the Future of Mosaic Place.
Mosaic Place and the Yara Field House (the two facilities combined are known by the acronym DFFH; which stands for Downtown Facility & Field House) have been in the news quite a bit lately. Last year a report was released that led to the eventual resignation of their CEO and the collapse of their advisory board. Then, more recently, a city councilor, Brian Swanson, went on record saying they would be moving away from the business of budgeting for the promotion of concerts.
Scary times for the people who voted in the downtown facility under the idea that the concerts would become a common thing.
But then, this week, even more news from the DFFH; they had hired a new General Manager; Graham Edge. Edge has a long and seemingly successful history operating big venues like the ones here in Moose Jaw, including eleven years at Evraz Place in Regina.
Well, what better way to get answers for the people, about the future of the DFFH, than to ask the man they just brought in to "right" the proverbial ship.
Graham, How did you get the job? "Simply? I applied and had a great interview, that coupled with the right skillset, I suspect, got me the job. It is clear, to anybody that I have crossed paths with, that I have a passion for the guest experience and perhaps that’s what the DFFH & The City were also looking for."
It's come to light recently that the DFFH will no longer be promoting concerts, this, as you may have already witnessed, has angered a lot of people in the city. What are your thoughts on this? And is it still possible that we will see the same amount of concerts we've become accustomed to or is that just not a reality if we aren't sharing in the promotion? "I’m not sure that first statement is completely accurate. In everything I have read, and the conversations I have had so far, not promoting shows is not off the table. I have experience with buying, renting and co-promoting and I expect to hunt for shows with each option at my disposal, it’s all about making the right decisions, minimizing risk with as much data as you can compile.
What I am not accustomed too is this kind of public conversation about how a show is acquired and I promise that won’t be as public as it has been….why? Promoters like to keep those kinds of things quiet and I would like to not give anyone a reason to avoid our beautiful building.
What I can promise, is that I will use every contact I have in the industry to bring great shows to our community the right way."
In this year's budget, there has been a drop in revenue budgeted for food and beverage; is that an anticipatory measure on account of less events?
Having just seen it yesterday, I would suspect that is the case. I am looking forward to speaking to Compass, stakeholders and the staff regarding F & B (Food & Beverage), I have 30 years worth of experience in this area and might be able to help out!
The former CEO, Scott Clark, and the DFFH board, in general, have both been heavily criticized for their work. Scott for reportedly controlling data, withholding information and allegedly not understanding the budgeting process; and the DFFH for its apparent lack of transparency. How will your management style differ from Scott's? How will you handle the transparency issue? And what is your vision for Mosaic Place and the Field House moving forward? "There is a lot going on in that set of questions! First, I have read the report and have no idea what Scott’s style was and can’t speak to it. That was then, and this is a knew era.
I have always been an open book with the people I work with and that will not change, transparency with the board won’t be an issue nor will my/our relationship with The City. I encourage anybody reading this, that wants to be part of positive change, to apply for the DFFH board when the time comes.
My vision for the two complex’s is simply world class service/product and to promote an attitude of pride in our workplace, as well as strive to be the best everyday….easy.
You've been working at Evraz Place in Regina for 11 years and now you have just switched over to Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw; I guess I need to ask the question everybody wants answered: Warriors or Pats?
"I look great in Black & Red and would love to see the Patsy’s in the first round for a quick beating then on to the Memorial Cup in their barn. I see a Mike Keane jersey in my future! Go Warriors!"
Graham begins his work as General Manager on January the 15th.