Thursday, May 23, 2024

City of Ottawa seeks nightlife commissioner, willing to pay $100K+

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It’s time to stop kidding around about Ottawa having a night mayor. The city is serious about filling the job, judging by the six-figure salary and long list of requirements included in this week’s callout for a nightlife commissioner, which is a far more official-sounding title for the role. 

In a job description posted Thursday, the city seeks someone who will be an ambassador for night-time businesses, implement its Nightlife Economy Action Plan and to liaise with everyone from corporations to government departments as well as other cities.

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Among the requirements, the winning candidate must speak French and have “knowledge of” health and safety issues in the sector, including the impact of illegal, illicit and prohibited activity

In short, the posting reads: “You balance community safety and well-being, quality of life and commercial vibrancy across the city between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.” 

The new commissioner will be part of the planning, real estate and economic development department and will receive an annual salary of $111,718.88.

Applications must be submitted by March 1.

The new position was approved by council last year, although the idea to create the job first came up in a 2015 report commissioned by Ottawa’s now-dormant Megaphono music conference. The report recommended a municipal music strategy, which came along in 2018 in the form of the Nightlife Economy Action Plan and a “dedicated point person” to join city hall. 

While the recommendation originated in the local music industry, it’s been catching on as politicians and staff recognize that after-hours establishments represent a wide range of businesses, from restaurants and clubs to 24-hour gas stations, and are an important part of the post-pandemic economic recovery. 

Similar positions exist in hotspots from Berlin to New York, while several Canadian cities have appointed their own night-time reps or are considering the notion. 

What’s more, both Toronto and Montreal are considering 24-hour nightlife zones, where alcohol is served around the clock. 

lsaxberg@postmedia.com

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