On the day that Mayor Jim Watson delivers an economic speech that stresses the importance of tourism to the city, this happens:
For Immediate release
Rideau Canal Festival Suspended
OTTAWA (October 31, 2012) After five challenging years, the Board of Directors of the Rideau Canal Festival has decided to suspend the festival.
The decision was made in light of the decreasing funding from the federal government and the City of Ottawa as well as the lack of a major corporate sponsor. This, coupled with the difficulties in generating corporate sponsors in the current tough economic times has led to this decision.
“We strongly believe that this UNESCO World Heritage site, the only one in Ontario, is worthy of celebrating but unfortunately the funding reductions make it simply unsustainable,” said Richard Patten, Chair of the festival’s Board of Directors.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers, staff, board members, heritage organizations and mostly the hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors who enjoyed the festival in the last five years,” said Patten.
The Rideau Canal is one of Ottawa’s most historic and famous attractions. In 2007 it became Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. The first Rideau Canal Festival was launched in 2008 during the August long weekend driven by the community’s desire to celebrate its World Heritage site designation. More than 500,000 people enjoyed the festival over the past five years.