Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Pack Your Own Lunch?

The more festivals and events that Gary and I attend the more we feel that the food offered is neither good value nor nutritional! It makes you wonder if we should be packing our own lunch. I am not sure why so many festivals allow high priced, poor quality food to be offered at their events. Since food plays such a major roll in the festival experience, it would seem to me that smart festival organizers would start to reconsider the types of food offered and how and where it’s presented. This is especially true for larger events that allow food vendors set up shop and then charge ridiculously high prices. As I have mentioned in a previous blog, I believe that festival visitors will become more and more discerning about the festivals and events they visit as gas and food prices increase. Although it’s difficult for festival organizers to dictate what food vendors can charge and what ingredients they use, they can be very selective on whom they choose as a vendor by asking hard questions and only contracting with the very best. Good value, healthy ingredients and a good selection of foods will win the hearts of their visitors. 
A further thought for festival organizers is that they should be offering food areas for their visitors. There is nothing worst then trying to juggle food, drinks and other packages while trying to eat food. Festival organizers should include in their planning a convenient food court with plenty of seating and lots of shade. I feel that festivals organizers who go that “extra mile” will be richly rewarded for their efforts!

Thursday, March 19, 2020


Some time ago, we attended an event that was confusing! It’s not that the event didn’t have a purpose and a theme, it did. The event was a race of sorts and celebrated a disaster in the town’s past. The confusion for me was simple, was the event held for race participants or was it for the race visitors? In this case, the event was heavily geared towards the race participants. There is nothing wrong with this. It’s up to the event organizers to make their choices. However, I think that they and the town are missing a great opportunity to promote the town, its amenities and its merchants! With just a little more effort this event could become one of the biggest attractions in the area. Don’t get me wrong, the event already attracts a good crowd, especially if the weather is good, but it could do better, much better! This may not be what the race organizers want, but it may be what the town needs. If the race organizers don’t want to spearhead an expanded event, why not make the race and event within a larger event or festival! An overall festival committee could be formed and its members could develop plans to expand and compliment the existing event. Expanding on an already successful event just makes good sense! The race already attracts a good number of out-of-town visitors. Why not give the more to do and see? Why not give them greater opportunities to spend money and help downtown merchants? It makes me wonder how many other communities are in the same position. Right now, I believe, a great number of opportunities are being lost!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Contingency Planning... Part 2

We bide our time by walking the festival grounds, in the rain. Finally, with plenty of time to spare, we made our way to the main attraction’s venue. We found a good viewing spot and claimed as our own. As the time got closer to 3:00 PM, set up activities started to take place. This activity seemed to draw people to the staging area! People started to arrive in numbers and were sitting and standing wherever they could. So much for arriving early and choosing a good viewing spot! Finally, the set-up staff realized that the performance area had people in it and that they were going to interfere with the performers. After much wrangling and time, they managed to relocate the encroaching crowd to new non-conflicting positions. 3:00 pm came and went! At approximately 3:20 PM the first performers were introduced. The whole production was spectacular, definitely worth waiting for! 
However, I believe that the confusion and delays could have been avoided if the contingency plans had been taken more seriously. Plans like these need to be practiced and understood by ALL staff members, not just the planners! This was a world class event, at a world class venue. I am sure that in the good weather everything ran smoothly, but with the bad weather everything seemed to fall apart. This event deserved to have the same professionalism, good weather or bad!  

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Contingency Planning... Part 1

Some time ago, we visited an event that was scheduled to have its activities take place inside and outside. When we arrived, it was raining quite heavily, plus it was cold! A bad combination for a spring festival! When we got there, I checked with the festival information desk to obtain an event schedule. One of the staff explained the schedule and outlined the changes being made due to the poor weather (rain/cold). Everything seemed organized with an adequate contingency plan. 

Unfortunately, the execution of the plans was poor! Staff were walking about, confused as to where and when activities were taking place. There was one event that we particularly wanted to see, so we asked one of the staff members the time of the next performance. She told us 1:30 PM. When we came back at 1:15 PM to see the show, there was no line up, so we asked a different attendant the time of the show. He told us 2:45 PM! This was disappointing, not only because we were given incorrect information, but the time was in direct conflict with the main attraction which was to start at 3:00 PM. We decided to miss the 2:45 PM performance. 

To be continued in Part 2...