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, June 24, 2021

Search Me… (Part One)

On our way back home from an event, we traveled along Highway #2. We reached Trenton at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Just as we reached the eastern outskirts of the city, we heard a roar overhead! There were two jets zooming above us! With Trenton Forces Base close by, we didn’t think much about it. However, just as we approached the Base, police diverted us north on a side road. We wondered if there had been an accident. As we drove up the road, a number of cars had pulled off to the side of the road. People were standing there, looking upwards, with binoculars to their eyes. I simply thought that they were simply watching Air Force planes take off and land. My father and I had done that many years ago at Toronto International Airport. Thinking nothing more, we followed other cars on the detour. We traveled north and then turned west and continued until we reached another road that took us south again and back to Highway #2. Just as we came parallel to the Base, hundred of people started to cross our road! The Trenton Air Show was now over!

(To be continued - Part Two)

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Government Funding…

 Ever wonder why some festivals or events are awarded government funding, while others are not! Gary and I visited a festival in eastern Ontario and this topic was discussed. Many festival organizers, who have not received funding, may feel that it is not about what you have but who you know in the government. Having talked to a number of people about this subject, I just don’t believe that this is true. Too many festival and event organizers feel that they deserve funding just because of who they are or where they are located. This attitude just doesn’t cut it! Both the federal and Ontario provincial governments have developed great programs to help both new and established festivals financially. All that they ask is that organizers submit detailed business-like applications. After all, isn’t an organized professional plan what you need to hold a well-run successful event! If you were to apply for a business loan from a bank, they wouldn’t give you a loan just because you’re a nice person or you know the manager! They give loans based on the probability of success! So, why shouldn’t governments do the same! Festival and event funds are not unlimited. This being said, it stands to reason that the monies being given out need to be awarded to festivals and events with the best chance of success. My advice to any festivals or events looking for government funding, “don’t fight the system”! It is a losing battle! Instead, embrace the process and use it to plan and produce the best event possible! And, who knows, you’ll likely increase your chances of receiving government funding! Good Luck!

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Crossing the Line…

 At what point do festival or event organizers “cross the line” putting profits (dollars) ahead of value for their attendees? I believe that some organizers eventually loose sight of the things that made their event successful. Most festivals and events in the beginning try to offer more to encourage people to visit their event, but what happens when the event becomes really successful over an extended period? Don’t get me wrong, I am all for events making a reasonable profit. After all, many events these days are managed and organized by non-profit groups and most of the money is put back into the community. For the most part profit allows organizers to gauge the success of their event. Nobody likes to work for nothing! That being said, when do festivals cross the line. I don’t think that there is a definitive answer, but I think this happens when organizers forget what made the event successful and start making poor judgment changes all for the sake of increased profits. This could include canceling popular activities or attractions or reducing advertising budgets. Obviously reducing or eliminating unnecessary items is prudent, but if profit is the only motivator and the event becomes less attractive as a result, I think this is wrong. A reasonable balance must be met. Here is an example of what I mean. I know of one festival that keeps raising its admission fees each year, even though their costs have not increased and they have not added value to their event. The increased fees were only a means to increase their profits. When do they stop? They wanted to prove to their community what great fundraisers they were, but what about patrons. The people who come back year after year to support their event? By only increasing admission fees and not providing anything new, aren’t they cheating those very people? And even worse, won’t this attitude eventually come back to haunt them? If this happens, everyone losses, the community, the organizations receiving funds, patrons, vendors, suppliers and ultimately even the organizers themselves! Raising money for the community is a very worthwhile endeavor, but not at the expense of integrity!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Road Blocks to Success… (Part 2)

Here is an idea to think about! Many festivals and events pay musical performers big money to come to their event! When they come, they give them the V.I.P. treatment. Why do events pay the big money? To draw crowds to the event! That’s the reason, pure and simply. While this may be necessary in some cases, there are other attractions that draw just as many people and perhaps more! I am talking about first class vendors. Why then do some festivals and events treat them like second class citizens? It just doesn’t make good business sense. Yet it does happen, and all too often! What is even odder, we charge these attractions a lot of money for the privilege of helping us draw people to our events! Most vendors don’t mind this, especially the good ones. They know that there could be a good payday for them if the event does well. But they are the ones taking all the chances, so why not treat them with respect, like the V.I.P.’s that they really are! If you want an example of how good vendors affect shows, just ask the organizers of the Buckhorn Festival of the Arts or the One of a Kid Show in Toronto! They thrive on attracting excellent participants. So, why the imbalance? Why do festival and event organizers and government regulators insist on creating so many “road blocks”? If festivals and events are the “backbone” of our communities, we owe it to ourselves to think of the consequences BEFORE we act! After all, community events need good participants more then good participants need the poor communities!