Data: How Third Party Advertiser donations were spent in the Calgary municipal election

Your 2021 - 2025 Calgary city council. DARREN KRAUSE / LIVEWIRE CALGARY

More than two million was spent by Third Party Advertisers (TPA) in Calgary’s 2021 municipal election to aid candidates or issues in the lead up to the October vote.

Below is a breakdown of each of the TPA expenses. You may recall in a previous LWC story that donor names were redacted. Calgarians won’t know who this money came from.

Overall, Third Party Advertisers spent at least $2.23 million in advertising and other related expenses throughout the 2021 campaign.

Of these, Calgrians for a Progressive Future spent the most at $1,615,304, and ABC Ward 12 YYC the least with $625.

ABC Ward 12 YYC

ABC Ward 12 YYC spent the least of all of the TPAs in the 2021 municipal election, at a comparatively minuscule $625.

Their expenses were made up of $334.19 in campaign expenses, and a $290.81 donation to the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter.

ExpenseValue
Donation to the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter$290.81
Crystal Ink Design Services and Branding$262.50
Website$30.68
Bank Charges$17.05
Accounting Fees$12.60
Shipping and Delivery$11.36
Total$625.00
ABC Ward 12 YYC TPA expense disclosure

Alberta Proud

Alberta Proud spent $23,802.50 during the municipal campaign, exclusively on Facebook advertising.

Records provided by the TPA for their municipal advertising indicated that they recieved 1,102,519 impressions from Facebook for for five different ad runs. Internally, they called this category "MUNI tool farkas [sic]."

Documents provided by the TPA disclosure indicated that Alberta Proud spent $1,852.24 on advertising for Erika Barootes for the province's senatorial election. And an additional $19,950 on equalization advertising, and $3,527.50 on oil and gas advertising in Quebec.

The group also spent $123.11 on two categories entitled "CENN Likes" and "CSP transformation letters."

Those spending categories were outside of the indicated spending on the Calgary election.

Alberta Proud TPA expense disclosure

Calgarians for a Progressive Future (Calgary's Future)

Calgarians for a Progressive Future spent a total of $1,615,303.92 during the municipal campaign. Of that, expenses related to Point Blank Creative made up the vast majority at $1,564,500.

ExpenseValue
Point Blank Creative$1,564,500.02
Lead YYC Donation$20,000.00
Polling$9,450.00
Consulting$9,240
Miscellaneous$3,833.56
Legal Fees$3,780.00
Accounting$2,362.50
Corporate Registry$1,501.33
Website Domain$330.80
Bank Fees$305.71
Total Expenses$1,615,303.92

The TPA itemized their advertising spend for print, digital, paid media management, broadcast voice messaging, video production, and vote planning tool advertising at $505,917.13.

Advertising Expense ItemTPA NotesCost
Digital Ad SpendTotal spend on Facebook and StackAdapt advertising$327,609.33
Video ProductionProduction of Calgary's Future brand video and re-edit$59,456.25
Digital Advertising ProductionCopy and design of 83 boosted posts, endorsement ads, contrast ads, vote tool ads, advance vote ads, election day ads$47,125.41
Paid Media ManagementPaid media planning, digital ad building, digital and advertorial ad placement, digital ad optimization, and monitoring$28,328.72
Print Advertising ProductionCopy and design of 9 advertorials, copy, design, and printing of posters$16,145.85
Print Ad SpendTotal spend on Great News Media advertising$13,437.67
Make a Plan to Vote Web ToolDesign, copy, and development of Make a Plan Vote web tool (promoted via paid advertising)$10,290.00
Broadcast Voice MessagingTotal spent on production and broadcast of 4 BVMs$3,523.91
Total$505,917.13
Calgarians for a Progressive Future TPA expense disclosure

Calgary Tomorrow

Calgary Tomorrow did not provide an income and expense statement as part of their disclosure package to Elections Calgary. Instead they provided a balance sheet for February 28, 2022.

This balance sheet indicated that on that date, Calgary Tomorrow had $28,417.43 on hand in cash.

Calgary Tomorrow disclosed that they raised $422,158.72 from contributors. Using this value, it is estimated that the TPA had at least $393,741 in expenses during the campaign period.

However, the Calgary Tomorrow campaign did provide extensive supporting documentation for individual advertising advertising expenses through traditional and social media avenues, campaign phone calls, and website design.

The total for these disclosed expenses were $273,851. None of these included items like office supplies, campaign consulting fees, bank fees, or other types of expenses included by other Third Party Advertisers.

VendorDescriptionExpense
Curbex176 outdoor advertising sign rentals$55,977.60
Process Color PrintSigns, including lawn signs$38,024.07
SqueezeCMMMarketing campaign and media fees$35,700.00
Great News MediaFull page colour advertising for 86 community newsletters$35,376.34
1879897 Alberta CorporationLive and automated phone calls$24,990.00
Pattison Outdoor AdvertisingOutdoor advertising at 96 locations across Calgary$21,294.00
Mountain View Printing and GraphicsPost cards, business cards, banner stands, dry erase poster, lawn signs, Spolumbos signs$11,607.95
Sleek Machine, LLCStrategy, brand ID, creative concepts$8,387.91
CIPR CommunicationsMedia spokesperson and public relations$8,327.82
DoMuch ConceptsT-shirts, masks$6,483.75
Joe Media GroupVideo production$5,500.00
Rogers Sports and Media526,200 digital ad displays in elevators across Rogers' condo and rental ad networks$5,250.00
Suburban JournalsFull page colour ads for Bearspaw, Rocky Ridge, Royal Oak, Scenic Acres, Silver Springs, Tuscany, Valley Ridge, Varsity, and Skyview for September 2021$4,477.20
Jon DutkiewiczWebsite design and maintenance$3,790.00
Framework Virtual ServicesGraphic design$2,257.15
Sign Depot Orlando, via AmazonLawn sign H stakes$2,251.85
RA2 IncHero images for postcard$1,645.37
Stang Photography CorpPhotography$945
PrintHoundLanyards$838.95
Allrush Print and ApparelAspen Properties cart decals, lawn signs, banner stands$726.14
Total$273,851.10
Calgary Tomorrow TPA balance sheet for February 28, 2022

Fluoride Yes

The Fluoride Yes TPA spent a total of $44,376.47 on their election campaign to return fluoride to Calgary's water supply.

Of that, the TPA itemized their expenses as $1,556.52 for Stripe payment processing fees, $102.75 for bank fees, and the remainder of $42,717.20 for campaign expenses.

The TPA provided detailed expenses by vendor, along with categorization and descriptive details.

Vincent St. Pierre, who served on the TPA's campaign for social media, brand, and website support, was the largest component of the TPA expenses.

VendorDescriptionCost
Vincent St. PierreSocial media support, website development, and brand support$13,000.00
Mountain View Printing and GraphicsSigns including lawn signs$7,475.76
FacebookDigital advertising$6,578.91
First on ColourPost cards, letter mailout$4,710.95
The PrimeContact GroupVoice broadcast$3,150.85
NationbuilderWebsite$1606.30
Jason SokoloskySign delivery$1,250.00
Canada PostStamps$1,159.20
Six Cent PressButtons$1,103.09
Bellweather TechnologiesTelephone town hall$840.00
Rob MayburySigns, installation, and removal$642.50
GoogleDomain name and Google Workspace$616.58
StaplesOffice supplies$390.21
123FormBuilderWebsite form$92.93
WalmartSheets for photo shoot$89.73
TwibbonTwitter ribbon$10.00
Total$42,717.01
Fluoride Yes TPA expense disclosure

Lead Calgary

Lead Calgary indicated that they incurred $15,442.50 for election advertising expenses, and $870.38 other expenses for a total of $16,312.88.

The TPA included costs for two vendors for their election advertising campaign.

VendorDescriptionCost
FacebookFacebook advertising for Ward 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 11, and 13. Ads for candidates Jeromy Farkas, Kim Tyers, Brent Trenholm, Rob Ward, Steve Webb, Sanjeev Kad, and Dan McLean. Anti-candidate advertisements against candidates Jyoti Gondek, Gian-Carlo Carra, and Kourtney Branagan (Penner). Total reach of 409,239 people.$10,000.00
Far and Wide MessagingWebsite design, hosting, graphic design, digital ad design, advertising campaign management, and communications$5,442.50
Total$15,442.50
Lead Calgary TPA expense disclosure

Look Forward Society for Political Action of Alberta

Look Forward Society for Political Action of Alberta indicated that they spent a total of $108,246 on the election campaign.

ExpenseValue
Contractors$74,943
Research$19,644
Advertising$7,982
Office Supplies and Expenses$5,677
Total$108,246

The TPA only provided documentation for individual Facebook vendor transactions, for a total of $3,331.67.

These were used for Facebook ads for candidates Jay Unsworth, Evan Spencer, and Jasmine Mian.

The ads targeted the communities of Millrise, Silverado, Bridlewood, Canyon Meadows, Shawnee Slopes, Woodbine, Whanessy, Woodlands, Evergreen, Yorkville, Mahogany, Cranston, Seton, Auburn Bay, Copperfield, New Brighton, McKenzie Towne, South Foothills, East Shepard, Shepard, Hidden Valley, Panorama Hills, Coventry Hills, Sandstone Valley, Harvest Hills, Carrington, MacEwan Glen, Livingston, Country Hills Village, and Country Hills.

Look Forward Calgary TPA expenses disclosure

Responsible Representation Political Action Committee

The Responsible Representation Political Action Committee indicated that they had expenses of $23,957. This was made of up of two categories: $8,312.02 for operating expenses, and $15,645.87 for marketing, advertising and consulting.

The TPA provided supporting documentation for payments to vendors which totalled $25,214.32 in expenses.

Included in the supporting documentation was reimbursement for Shane Keating for $1,879.76 for the Google and Facebook ads placed onto his credit cards. This was not included in the table below to avoid duplication of costs.

VendorDescriptionCost
Justason Market IntelligenceDesign and delivery of automated survey for Wards 4, 11, and 12$10,000.00
Intercede CommunicationsIVR calls to 23,487 phone numbers in Ward 2, 1,145 phone numbers in Country Hills, 14,041 phone numbers in Ward 7, and 17,979 phone numbers in Ward 4.$3,787.98
Crystal InkSocial media templates, social media strategy, candidate social media management, google ad management, website design, branding strategy and visual design$3,150.00
Rose LLPDescription of services redacted under section 17(1) of FOIP act$1,946.70
GoogleAdvertisements for meet DJ Kelly, meet Jasmine Mian, meet Evan Spencer, meet Erin Waite, meet Courtney Walcott, meet Diane Colley-Urquhart, and ad for TPA$1,673.78
Stat Strategic CommunicationsLive and answering machine phone call messages, phone list rental$1,476.83
Best BuyiPad Pro$1,313.74
FacebookFacebook ads for TPA, DJ Kelly, Jasmine Mian, Evan Spencer, Erin Waite, Courtney Walcott, and Diane Colley-Urquhart$841.71
VistaprintLetterhead, business cards, presentation folder$446.21
Shane KeatingReimbursement for three months of Zoom and Telus cellphone line$336.36
SquarespaceWebsite$192.01
ShutterstockPhotography$49.00
Total$25,214.32
Responsible Representation Political Action Committee TPA expense disclosure

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