Pan Am Games mascot has cost $385K in taxes (so far)
Meet Pachi, the mascot of the Toronto Pan Am Games. He's a friendly, jolly porcupine with 41 multicoloured quills and a Frank Rossitano-style slogan hat. And so far, between design contests, promotional merchandise, actors' fees, and foam suit cleanings (necessary), he's cost taxpayers $383,045, with seven months to go before the games kick off next July.
The Globe & Mail reports that so far, the Toronto 2015 organizing committee spent $93,232 on the kids' "mascot creation challenge" that led to Pachi's design (the winning submission came from a team of four Grade 4 kids in Markham) and $33,250 on "mascot research". From there, they spent $134,550 to pay the 17 actors that will play Pachi, as well as $26,862 on promotional stickers.
By contrast, the Globe points out, the London 2012 Olympic mascots were designed by a London firm for a few thousand pounds (though you could argue they got what they paid for there).
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