Bridges ‘Powered by TekSavvy’

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Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff and TekSavvy chief operating officer Pierre Aube mark the ceremonial naming of Chatham’s downtown bridges Friday. Going forward, the structures will be called the Third Street Bridge Powered by TekSavvy and the Fifth Street Bridge Powered by TekSavvy. The tech company has committed $1 million to sponsor the naming rights for the bridges until 2033. Some of the funding has been earmarked by C-K council for public art projects.

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

It’s official.

For the next decade, Chatham’s downtown bridges will be formally known as being “Powered by TekSavvy.”

As a result, the terminology is the Third Street Bridge Powered by TekSavvy and the Fifth Street Bridge Powered by TekSavvy.

Announced last week at a ribbon cutting at the foot of the Third Street Bridge, the bridge naming-rights are part of the local tech giant’s ongoing commitment to its hometown community.

TekSavvy chief operating officer Pierre Aube took to the podium, emphasizing support for the initiative, noting it’s the first time the company has sponsored a bridge.

“These bridges are more than mere structures spanning water,” Aube told the crowd. “They are symbols of connectivity and opportunity. They signify our collective commitment to enhance mobility, foster economic growth and strengthen the bonds that unite us a community.

“At TekSavvy, we believe in the power of connectivity to transform lives and empower community,” Aube explained. “Our mission goes beyond reliable Internet communications. It extends to supporting the communities we live in and work.”

Aube pointed out the bridge naming “underscores our commitment to Chatham-Kent. May they stand as an enduring symbol of progress and prosperity for generations to come.”

From 2023 to 2033, the Chatham-based company will contribute $1 million to the municipality’s coffers for the naming rights. The money will be dispersed according to Chatham-Kent council’s discretion.

To date, council has designated a total of $120,000 of the money to be funneled into local arts, culture and recreation projects, with $40,000 committed annually to public art from 2023-25.

Chatham’s downtown bridges have both undergone significant upgrades in the last few years, bringing safety and a fresh look to the downtown. LED lighting adorns the Third Street Bridge, allowing the municipality to commemorate various milestones, campaigns and groups by changing colours.

C-K Mayor Darrin Canniff had effusive praise for TekSavvy’s pledge.

“TekSavvy has been an absolutely amazing corporate citizen,” Canniff said. “We see it here today. They’re everywhere in our community. You’d be hard pressed to find an event in this community that TekSavvy is not part of.”

Canniff said the partnership “sets the tone” for future public-private partnerships – initiatives that he said will allow Chatham-Kent to grow and flourish.

“I believe we live in one of the best communities in Canada and this is one of the reasons,” he said, adding he’s thrilled TekSavvy continues to maintain its head office in Chatham-Kent.

Going forward, Canniff said the community can look forward to some “cool signage,” marking the naming rights.

The mayor advised the public to “stay tuned” for other private sponsorships that will enhance C-K.

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