Consumerwatch: Rockstar Entertainment
Some Winnipeg businesses and organizations are wondering what happened to their money after a local event promoter failed to deliver what was promised.
Gym manager Kathryn Sawatzky received an email last November about purchasing a booth at an upcoming health and wellness show in Winnipeg. It was sent to her by Rockstar Entertainment CEO Kurt Wittin.
"It looked very professional, what he sent me on the Internet, on email,” said Sawatzky. “It looked very much like this was a show that was happening in Winnipeg.”
Sawatzky paid an exhibitor’s fee of $472, but in early April, she said Wittin contacted her to say the event was cancelled. Sawatzky was told she would get a refund, but it never came.
“He said, ‘You're right, Kathryn, I do owe you the money, the cheque’s in the mail, so to speak. So I gave him my address. Weeks later still no money, and now he's just not responding to anything."
In May, the Firefighters Burn Fund was invited to appear at a Chippendales event, also organized by
Rockstar Entertainment. The firefighters were promised a portion of the ticket sales, but the burn fund said it never received any cash from Rockstar.
"We have no idea what the door sales were, how many were sold. We have no clue from anybody there," said Murray Davidson of the Burn Fund.
Wittin said he paid back most of the exhibitors from the cancelled health show. "We made a mistake in our accounting and (Sawatzky) didn't receive back her cheque," he said.
As for the firefighters, Wittin said he lost money on the Chippendales event, but still intends to honour his agreement with the Burn Fund.
"We're taking care of what we signed up for, we're taking care of what we promised you,” he said. “We're sorry, but we're making sure that we fix everything right now, correctly."
Sawatzky said, even if she is refunded, the whole experience has been frustrating. "He should not be operating as Rockstar Entertainment if this is what he's doing to people."
According to Manitoba court records, Wittin is currently being sued by a local health food chain for more than $3,000 also related to the cancelled wellness show.
Kathryn Sawatzky said she will consider filing a police report and contacting the Better Business Bureau about Rockstar Entertainment if the money is not refunded.
- With a report by Karen Rocznik