WATCH: BC Ferries spent over $500,000 to advertise during Canucks games in 2010-2011

WATCH: BC Ferries questionable sponsorship spending

BC Ferries spent over half-a-million dollars advertising their brand at Rogers Arena during the Vancouver Canucks 2010-2011 season.

In June of 2011, Global News made a freedom of information request to find out how much the ferry corporation was spending on advertising during Canucks games. BC Ferries released that information more than a year after the original request, in the fall of 2012. That information has gone unreported until this point.

The documents reveal that BC Ferries paid the Vancouver Canucks Limited Partnership $387,000 for the 2010-2011 season. When you add HST to that, it’s more than $433,000. That’s just for the regular season, because the Canucks went to the playoffs that year — adding an additional $98,000. Grand total? $531,331.44.

BC Ferries’ logo was advertised on a large circular white area under the screens suspended above centre ice, along with some rink advertising.

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Global News contacted BC Ferries, which has so far refused to comment on the sponsorship agreement.

NDP transportation critic Claire Trevena says she was flabbergasted by the news.

“At a time when we are seeing fares go up, services being cut, seniors being charged, it’s inexcusable. What is the purpose of advertising what basically should be our highway system at such peak prices?”

“When people are being faced with cuts in service, and we are seeing 7.5 per cent increase in fares in three months, and they squander $500,000 on an advert for a ferry — I really can’t see the need for that sort of advertising.”

Back in 2011, Global News found out through another freedom of information request that BC Ferries spent $15,000 on game tickets.

BC Ferries has a monopoly on ferry service in British Columbia, and recently announced extensive cuts to service to coastal communities.

The ferry corporation says it’s already making significant progress on reducing expenses.

“We’ve been tasked by the BC Ferries Commissioner to save $55 million by March 2016 and we are well on our way of meeting or exceeding that target.  Cutting marketing expenditures is one of the areas we’ve cut,” said Deborah Marshall, executive director of public affairs at BC Ferries.

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View the Freedom of Information documents: