Tell Us Your Story

Tell us your story and we will share it with our members.

Once your Festival or Event concludes, please be sure to follow up with Festivals and Events Ontario and let us know how it went. Please send along some high resolution photos and a 2-3 paragraph write up telling us your story so we can Celebrate Your Success!. Send the photos and a Word document with your write up to Martha Cookson by clicking here..

Here are a few examples we’d like to share:

Event: Glengarry Highland Games
Date: August 3-4, 2018
Website: www.glengarryhighlandgames.com

The Story:
Now that was a wonderful games!

As the Saturday evening sun glistened on the pipes and drums of 1449 pipers and drummers playing Scotland the Brave to the overflowing and enthusiastic crowd, the 2018 Glengarry Highland Games came to a close. With the last notes fading on the air, the crowd cheered not only for the bands’ breathtaking performance but also for the memory of another wonderful Games and celebration of all things Scottish.

This year’s Games was certainly a celebration of all things Scottish, but it was also a celebration of Glengarry and how as a small rural area of Ontario, everyone comes together at the Games either as competitor, performer, volunteer or spectator and for two glorious days in the middle of summer, just has a great time.

Everyone has their own special memories of this year’s Games and certainly among them will be the Official Ceremonies on Saturday with the thunder rumbling and lightning flashing in the surrounding skies. The skies stayed sunny as Rae MacCulloch’s son, Lindsay, the 2018 President, welcomed one and all to the Games. The rain stayed away as Captain Bob Pearson, pilot of Canada’s Gimli Glider, captured the audience’s hearts with his wit and warmth about his accomplishment, his love of Glengarry and his Campbell heritage. Only with the Party seated in the grandstand and the first wave of the massed bands entering the field, did the clouds open up with the downpour. As the rain poured and then quickly moved away, the pipers and drummers never missed a beat.

The Games flew by this year leaving the haunting notes of the pipes on the air and the grass on the grounds baked dry by feet and sun. Sunday morning on the grounds, it was like there had never been 25,000 and more sharing the Games experience. Signs were down, tents were gone and there wasn’t a plastic cup or a piece of garbage to be found. Committee volunteers were out in force cleaning up their areas and the grounds crew were watering the gorgeous floral displays to keep them blooming in the heat. Like the fictitious town of Brigadoon, the 2018 Glengarry Highland Games has slipped off into the Glengarry mists until it comes out in full glory once again next year on August 2 and 3, 2019.

Dona Cruickshank
Event Organizer

Event: Fire, Beards & Axes on Father’s Day in Creemore
Date: Friday June 17, 2018
Website: www.experiencecreemore.com

The Story:
Our first Father’s Day Festival, Fire, Beards & Axes, launched smoothly!

It was a super hot day but visitors braved the heat and there were a lot of smiling Dad faces!

The World’s Best Dad Triathlon was a riot! Dad’s competed in stroller race/grocery grab, diaper changing and watermelon eating. So fun! The craft beard maintenance workshops and the Braiding & Other Dad Skills workshop had great attendance.

The Craft Beard Competition brought out a lot of great beard growers! Our special wood fired father’s day lunch was sold out in advance. The live lumberjacks shows and the circus lumberjack show were well attended. The craft beer workshop and tasting had full registration on line in advance. CTV came out for footage. It was a great day overall!

Jackie Durnford
FBA Event Organizer

Event: Niagara Falls Canada Day Celebration
Date: June 29 – July 1, 2018
Website: www.niagarafalls.ca/events/canadaday

The Story:
The day began with a 1K & 5K Run/Walk for St. John Ambulance, followed by the OPG Niagara Falls Canada Day Parade at 11 am. Always a highlight, the Parade included marching bands, cheerleaders, community groups, Spiderman, Captain America, dance groups, and several of our amazing volunteers!

At 12:30 pm, Opening Ceremonies began on the Main Stage and afterwards, Greg Frewin put on a fabulous magic show. When The Legends – tribute act to Adele, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and Rod Stewart performed, the crowd was rocking.

Although it was an extremely hot day, it didn’t stop families from lining up at our 70 foot inflatable Zip Line, the Rock Climbing Wall, and cool off by running through the splash pad!
The Toronto FC MLS Trophy Cup Tour was a huge hit and families still came to enjoy the delicious free birthday cake, ride the free inflatables, mini putt and electronic animal rides, free face painting, henna tattoos and caricatures. Buskers and musicians performed on every corner and we even included an Aerial Dance show, basketball and BMX stunt shows. Car lovers enjoyed the Canada Day Car Show and the fabulous Canada Day Art Show. There was something for everyone at this year’s Canada Day Celebration.

Lori Albanese
Community Development Coordinator | Recreation & Culture | City of Niagara Falls

Event: 16th Annual Welland Dragon Boat Festival
Date: Saturday June 9, 2018
Website: www.wellanddragonboatfestival.com

The Story:
The 16th Annual Welland Dragon Boat Festival was a great success!

This year the event venue, the Welland International Flatwater Centre, was fully staffed which made our event the smoothest and easiest to run yet. We implemented suggestions from last year to make sharing the race schedules and times easier by texting them to team captains, having awards for the Women’s Division, and eliminating the team waiver so that individuals only had to sign their individual waivers.

By request we added a breast cancer survivor ceremony which was a welcome addition and inspiring moment of the day.

Lori Webster
Welland Heritage Council & Multicultural Centre/Employment Solutions

Event: Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival sponsored by TD
Date: July 7-8, 2018
Website: www.salsaintoronto.com.com

The Story:
A not to be missed staple in the Canadian summer events calendar, the 14th annual TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival was once again a huge weekend success turning the streets of mid-town Toronto into an unforgettable dancing fiesta.

Latin lovers from near and far took in the sights, sounds and tastes of the festival’s caliente live music lineup, free salsa lessons, fiery Latin cuisine and the non-stop dancing! From beginner dancers who come for lessons on the street, to semi-pros who are amazing to watch, TD Salsa on St. Clair got everyone dancing including Toronto Mayor, John Tory and Ontario Premier, Doug Ford!

Marana Bayonon
Event Organizer

Event: Canada Day in Vaughan
Date: Sunday July 1, 2018
Website: www.vaughan.ca/events

The Story:
The City of Vaughan hosted its award-winning annual Canada Day event on Sunday, July 1, 2018 from 12 – 8pm at the Boyd Conservation Area located at 8739 Islington Avenue in Vaughan. Presented by TD and Event Sponsors CN and Tim Hortons.

This FREE fun-filled event attracted thousands of people from the local and surrounding municipalities. Despite the extreme heat warning, attendees enjoyed activities and entertainment for the whole family, including inflatables, rock climbing, a zipline, human foosball, giant soccer darts, a disco dome, a full accessible inflatable maze, face painting, arts and crafts, a business zone, and food zone.

On stage were live performances from various community performers and the headline talent, hosted by Mocha Frap from KiSS 92.5, featuring JENNA Nation, Jordan John, Epic Journey Tribute and headliner, Virginia to Vegas.

Vicky Tran
Events Coordinator
City of Vaughan Recreation Services

Event: Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival
Date: May 1-31, 2018
Website: www.scotiabankcontactphoto.com

The Story:
CONTACT 2018 was a massive success and Toronto was really taken over with imagery at over 250 exhibitions and events. Our audience reach hit record levels at over 1.35 million unique visitors and national/international press exceeded 350 million impressions!

Darcy Killeen
Executive Director
Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

Event: Toronto Luminato Festival
Date: June 6-24, 2018
Website: www.luminatofestival.com

The Story:
19 days, 154 performances, 6 world premieres, 3 North American premieres, 3 Canadian premieres and 5 original commissions later – the 12th edition of Luminato came to a very successful close last month.

This year’s festival had our largest ever line-up of Canadian artists – both emerging and established – showcasing brand new work as well as beloved work previously shown on stages at home in Canada and internationally.

As Toronto’s largest international arts festival, the scale and quality of this year’s programming would not have been possible without the support of caring individuals and volunteers. As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generosity of our friends and audiences to help us bring some of the most utterly-gripping, powerful and globally-relevant work to the festival stage every June.

Tony Gagliano
Co-Founder and Chair, Luminato

Event: Kincardine Pride Parade
Date: June 23, 2018
Website: www.facebook.com/kincardinepride

The Story:
A colourful and lengthy Kincardine Pride Parade marched through downtown Kincardine, promoting inclusion and acceptance of everyone.

Our second annual pride parade was a great success, building well on last year’s beginnings. Hundreds of people were in the parade, and hundreds more were watching as the parade began at the corner of Broadway and Huron Terrace and wended its way to Victoria Park.

Leading the parade were Kincardine native, athlete and motivational speaker Kendra Fisher, and CUPE Ontario Division president Fred Hahn, followed by Fort Papalia and Sandy Blackwood of Kincardine Pride, Kincardine mayor Anne Eadie and Saugeen First Nation chief Lester Anoquot, and members of the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band.

The Pride Parade is very important because it fosters understanding and promotes acceptance of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer)-plus community.

Monday morning following the event, members of Kincardine Pride joined the community in raising Pride flags at the Davidson Centre, the Kincardine Library and the Kincardine Municipal Administrative Centre, to launch Pride Week.

Fort Papalia
Kincardine Pride

Event: Hop To It 5K Beer Run and 5K Root Beer Run
Date: July 14, 2018
Website: www.hauntedhustle.com/register-hop-to-it

The Story:
We had a great event with over 260 participants, plus 6 little ones in our 50m Root Beer Dash! Once the runners headed out, they had a beautiful start/finish line on the water, the 5K course follows the STATO Trail which goes all along beautiful Lake Temiskaming, it’s quite scenic.

Everyone also received a t-shirt. We raised $1800 for the Temiskaming Care Close to Home Charity as well as a large box of food for the Haileybury Food Bank.

Jennifer Jenkins
Race Director

Event: Cheers Caledon-Craft Beer and Cider Festival
Date: Friday June 15, 2018
Website: www.cheerscaledon.ca

The Story:
Craft cider and beer are increasing in popularity within Ontario. Our small, local craft beer and cider makers have limited options to sell their products so Cheers Caledon gives them the chance to shine alongside better known brands.

This was our second year running the event. For our first year we hoped to sell at least 800 tickets and attendance on the night was about 1,200. This year our attendance was more than 1,700. Our post event survey returned a 13% response rate. People thought highly of the event with 83% saying it was very good or excellent. We were very pleased to see that 43% were return visitors and 88% of those surveyed this time said they were extremely (61%) or very (27%) likely to return.
This event really gives our local brewers and food producers chance to shine. Last year we had four local producers, this year we had five. What we learned from last year was that food is a very important component of the craft beer and cider festival. We had more local food providers this year but our biggest post-event comment was that people wanted still more food offerings, which is a big challenge. We started securing food vendors much earlier this year but we have learned that they must be secured even earlier still.

Another important thing we learned was the power of social media. We partnered with a branding and marketing company to grow the profile on social media, particularly new for the Town on Instagram. The first year, we created a unique Cheers Caledon Instagram account, which gained 134 followers, and found 53 posts using the #CheersCaledon hashtag. This account not only provided pictures but also featured video of the Caledon producers, highlighting local makers, and personal stories. About a third of people heard about our first year event through social media. This year, about a third again heard about it through social media and another third through word of mouth. We used some paid social media this time. For a small investment, our Facebook video reached 22,044 people with 13,760 views and 13 shares.

As far as community impact goes, we have held a free community festival on the Saturday afternoon for the last 12 years. Last year we introduced the craft beer and cider festival to complement and enhance the free component. However, it wasn’t viewed as a weekend event as there was nothing in the morning. This year we issued a request for proposals to run a cycling event on the Saturday morning. A community organization stepped up and we were successful in branding the whole weekend under #celebratecaledon, with the craft beer & cider Friday night, and the cycle ride Saturday morning, which was timed to end as the free festival started. This produced more of a weekend feel to the festival. It really did give a fabulous sense of community pride in showcasing the local brewers and food producers, and giving the community a first class experience. Sadly, our tourism impact was not as strong as we would have liked and although people came from more than 40km away, only four who answered the survey said they stayed overnight and they stayed with friends/relatives.

Susan Gallimore
Tourism & Community Development Officer
Economic Development, Tourism & Culture
Strategic Initiatives

Event: North on Tap Craft Beer Festival
Date: July 14, 2018
Website: www.northontap.ca

The Story:
It was indeed a stellar event, with over 1800 people taking part in our sold-out event. The North on Tap Committee was totally blown away by the phenomenal success of the day. Everything ran smoothly and the weather was perfect…nice and hot so perfect beer-drinking weather, with a little bit of afternoon rain to cool folks off.

What really spoke to the success of the event was the comments by the Breweries that were in attendance, who thanked us and said that this is by far, one of the best, well organize beer festivals they’ve attended…and these folks – from Montreal and all throughout Ontario – do this for a living so that certainly warms our heart. And even more importantly, they’ve all agreed, to come back next year! There were 69 different beers and spirits for people to try and so there really was something for everyone.

As for food, our theme this year was “upscale BBQ” and the Festival partnered up once again with the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) and regional restaurateurs to highlight local products from our area.

We introduced online text voting this year, and were pleased to announce that the Tapper’s Choice Award for the most popular brewery went to Full Beard Brewing Co. (Timmins) and the Favourite Food Vendor award went to Zante’s Bar & Grill.

We invite people to keep following us on social media: @northontapbeer is our handle on FB, Instagram and Twitter. They can also sign up on our website: northontap.ca and be the first to know about the latest news and happenings.

Danielle
Le Festival de bière artisanale Le Nord en fût/North On Tap Craft Beer Festival