Mo­saic Place to heav­ily pur­sue con­certs, ma­jor events City man­ager to lead quest to dras­ti­cally im­prove num­ber of events at lo­cal fa­cil­ity

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Mo­saic Place will be a much busier place if the plan put in place by Moose Jaw city coun­cil at their most re­cent meet­ing reaches fruition.

In ad­di­tion to de­cid­ing to bring in a third-party man­ager for the 4,500-seat events and en­ter­tain­ment com­plex, coun­cil also passed a plan to al­low city man­ager Jim Puf­falt to ac­tively pur­sue ma­jor events, with the goal of bring­ing in at least one show a month out­side of two months in the sum­mer, for a min­i­mum of 10 elite shows a year.

The day af­ter the de­ci­sion, Puf­falt had a mes­sage for con­cert and event pro­mot­ers.

“Be pre­pared for a mes­sage from us, be­cause we’re ready,” he said in a press re­lease “Mo­saic Place was cre­ated not only as home for the Moose Jaw War­riors of the West­ern Hockey League, but as a venue that could host sev­eral other en­ter­tain­ment and sport­ing events every year. Our team is skilled and able to look af­ter your every need to en­sure a suc­cess­ful event.”

Puf­falt comes from a place of ex­pe­ri­ence when it comes to mak­ing such a state­ment – as city man­ager in Este­van, he was re­spon­si­ble for bring­ing in Mot­ley Crue dur­ing their 2013 tour, a sur­pris­ing coup given the size of the com­mu­nity and stature of one of the 1980s most pop­u­lar bands.

“That was a tough sell be­cause I had to con­vince peo­ple we could spend that much money, but there was no ques­tion in my mind that with clas­sic rock and bands ev­ery­one rec­og­nizes, if you can get them to come, with the ticket sales and food and bev­er­age and merch, that’s where your money comes from,” Puf­falt said. That’s the plan for Mo­saic Place go­ing for­ward. “We’re look­ing for­ward to see­ing what we can do,” Puf­falt con­tin­ued. “There was some ac­tiv­ity; it’s not like there wasn’t, but some­times you have to get out there and get at it and let peo­ple know you’re avail­able to do things. I’m not try­ing to be crit­i­cal of any­thing that hap­pened be­fore, but from do­ing it be­fore, I know some of the pit­falls and some of things you have to do to bring a show in. So, we’re pretty ex­cited about it.”

The idea that the pre­vi­ous DFFH board wasn’t try­ing to bring in shows was a source of con­cern for Coun. Brian Swan­son dur­ing the coun­cil meet­ing, as he pointed to the pres­ence of the Brandt Cen­tre and Conexus Arts Cen­tre in Regina as ma­jor com­pe­ti­tion for any shows in Moose Jaw. Add in the weak Cana­dian dol­lar and eco­nomic down­turn in west­ern Canada, in gen­eral, and at­tract­ing shows, be­comes far more dif­fi­cult, he said.

Puf­falt aims to work around that by pro­mot­ing just how good the 2011-opened Mo­saic Place ac­tu­ally is.

“We do have the nicest fa­cil­ity in south­ern Saskatchewan,” Puf­falt said. “It has great acous­tics and sim­i­lar seat size to the Brandt Cen­tre and we cer­tainly beat the Conexus Arts Cen­tre, so we’re a great lo­ca­tion for a show.” With that, the key go­ing for­ward will be get­ting word out that Moose Jaw is will­ing to go above and be­yond to bring shows in.

“I’ve been talk­ing to peo­ple for the bet­ter part of two months and say­ing that ‘I think we’re back, I think we’re back’ and now that I’ve got con­fir­ma­tion that we are, I think I had a lot more in­ter­est this week than be­fore; it was ‘when you guys are ready, let us know, we’ll get at ‘er’,” Puf­falt said.

He pointed to the re­cent Celtic Thun­der show as an ex­am­ple of just what he plans to of­fer and how pro­fi­cient the Mo­saic Place staff are at meet­ing the needs not only of in­com­ing acts, but also long-term ten­ants.

“The Celtic Thun­der show, we hit every mark we were sup­posed to; we were right on time and we went above and be­yond on cus­tomer ser­vice,” Puf­falt said. “I took the band down to YaraCen­tre so they could kick the soc­cer ball around. Those are things you have to do if you want to have that rep­u­ta­tion as a first-class place. You bend over back­wards and you treat them like rock stars be­cause that’s what they are.”

The Mo­saic Place team also quickly and ef­fi­ciently set up the Celtic Thun­der stage the night af­ter a War­rior game and had things torn down in time for a Midget AAA Gen­er­als game the fol­low­ing evening.

“So that shows just how good they are at what they do and how quickly they can get things done,” Puf­falt said. Mo­saic Place has played host to con­certs since open­ing, from Car­rie Un­der­wood to John Mel­len­camp, Al­ice Cooper, Chicago, Alan Jack­son and oth­ers. Mo­saic Place has also been the site of sev­eral ma­jor sport­ing events in­clud­ing the 2015 Scot­ties Tour­na­ment of Hearts, 2014 Telus Cup and 2012 Canada Cup of Curl­ing. Mo­saic Place will once again host the na­tional Scot­ties Tour­na­ment of Hearts in Fe­bru­ary 2020.

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