BRANTFORD: The executive and board of directors of Brantford’s International Villages Festival have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event.
The popular annual festival was set for July 8 – 11, 2020. Organizer, John Styes says, it was important to make the decision now even though the date was in three months time as the well-being of festival goers and the thousands of volunteers involved are the board’s top priority. Styes adds, as social distancing is important, carrying on with the festival where the villages become very crowded will be impossible.
Styes says, it takes a great deal of time for proper planning and preparation of the 17 villages involved. He adds, as the pandemic continues with no visible ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ to date, there’s also no guarantee of adequate time to prepare appropriately.
Styes also admits, it’s hard to deny the effect the cancellation of such a large community event will have.
“I know for most of the villages (the festival) was one of the major fundraisers to keep these organizations going because they are slowly dwindling. It’s harder to get the younger generation to participate, even though we do have quite a few. And for the entire city, it brings in a lot of tourists and puts us on the map.”John Styes, Organizer
“On behalf of the village festival’s directors we wish everyone a safe, healthy summer…the villages will go on. We will be here to make it bigger and better for 2021!“John Styes, Organizer
Next year’s Brantford International Villages Festival planning is currently underway and scheduled for July 7 – 10, 2021.