News | Better brews could improve SnowAP

This year’s big white tent hopes to make a financial turnaround

Snow Air Pub (SnowAP) organizers are banking that this year’s big white tent will attract more revenue than last year’s financial flop, but some think that an alternative beer contract could help its future performance.

“Last year was a really hard year,” said SSMU President Kay Turner, who organized the event last year as VP Internal. She explained that last-minute costs changes put an early dent in last year’s budget – like the price of the tent doubling a month before the start of the event.

SnowAP, now in its 13th year, has operated at a loss before, and often fares worse than its counterpart Open Air Pub, held in the beginning of September.

Turner hoped that with the better scheduling and budgeting, the event will be more successful and profitable than last year’s disappointing returns.

Despite an early obstacle on Wednesday when heavy snowfall led the Fire Prevention Office to close SnowAP early, she said the first day was successful.

“It was full at 2:30 p.m.,” she said.

While the supplementary financial difficulties confronting SnowAP this year seem to have been addressed, some students think that the solution is to switch from Boréale to another beer.

“A better beer is more likely to attract more people,” said U1 Nursing student Rebecca Saunders.

U1 Arts student Spencer Hill conceded that the taste of the beer served at SnowAP was not spectacular, but its prices were attractive.

“It was very cheap, and on par with cheap college beer,” Hill said.

SSMU’s three-year contract with Boréale – which limits the beers that SSMU and the faculties can sell to students – will expire this year.

According to current VP Internal Julia Webster Boréale was selected because the company contributes to the Campus Life Fund and fits environmental requirements of being a local provider. Additionally, since SSMU collaborated with a majority of faculty associations to obtain a contract, the prices were cheaper.

As SSMU shops around for a potential new provider, Webster says they will collaborate with faculties and interest groups. The McGill Environment Student Society was involved in the process of developing proposals sent to several beer companies including Molson – which held the previous contract – Boréale, Sleeman, Unibrpue, and others.

“[SSMU] met with all of the faculties and Gert’s to discuss and come up with a proposal,” Webster said.

Interested companies will submit pitches to SSMU – which will select the best offer with faculty representatives.

Webster also explained that SSMU needs to consider affiliations between beer companies and Montreal bars in order to plan pub crawls during events like Frosh.


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