MEDICINE HAT, AB — The general manager of the Canalta Centre has been let go.
Several sources have told CHAT News that general manager Peter Jelinski is no longer employed by the Canalta Centre. He is no longer listed as general manager on the Canalta Centre website.
The staff were informed about the change this week. A call from CHAT News to Jelinski's phone went to voicemail Thursday evening.
SMG is not providing any details on their decision to release Jelinski, but they have brought in an interim manager from the United States.
Les Crooks has stepped into similar temporary positions in 31 other cities. He said he will be in the position until a new general manager is hired.
“SMG asked me to come here and take over on a short term basis until we get a new general manager on board,” he explained. “That process has begun and I'll be here to help move things forward.”
Jelinski was hired by SMG Canada in 2014. He has more than 20 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Prior to working at the Canalta Centre, he was the booking and entertainment manager for Northlands in Edmonton, handling booking at Rexall Place.
The Canalta Centre has struggled to meet its performance goals.
In its first year of operation between August 1, 2015 and July 31, 2016 it lost $440,000 which is $80,000 more than expected.
Between August 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017 there have been very few events that have reached capacity.
In the first year there were 60 events in the Canalta Centre including concerts, Tigers hockey games and other sporting events.
No update has been released for the 2016-2017 year, but based on the Canalta Centre’s event schedule there were only 55 events plus five Tigers playoff games.
Crooks said SMG hopes to see that improve moving forward.
“We're going after new events every day [and] we've got some exciting announcements on the horizon,” he said. “We're looking forward to a great relationship here with the City of Medicine Hat and providing the people of this community the opportunity to come see some fantastic events here in the future.”
The company entered a five-year management agreement with the city in 2015.
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