Town of Collingwood votes to stop operating Elvis Festival
Elvis is leaving the municipal building.
The Town of Collingwood will no longer operate the iconic Elvis Festival that has been taking place in the town since 1995.
On Monday the town voted to discontinue municipal operation of the festival after 2019 and will look to transition the festival to a private operator.
“We've been looking at data for the last several years and unfortunately the attendance is declining,” says the town’s Culture and Events Manager Karen Cubitt.
Cubitt says the festival is no longer the economic boom it used to be, and revenue is inconsistent.
“We recognize that it would take a lot of resources to reverse that trend that maybe shouldn't be on the backs of the taxpayer,”
Local business owners have mixed emotions about the news.
"[the] Elvis festival always draws a big crowd. We've always done well on Elvis Weekend, “said owner of the Olde Red Hen restaurant, Diane Smith.
But others argue the festival isn’t attracting enough young people to the area.
“There's not really a lot of younger generation that is going to be coming for that,” says Awear clothing store manager Sasha Law.
The town wants to keep the festival in Collingwood and is trying to figure out how municipal resources allocated to the Elvis Festival can be used in the future.
The town is now accepting applications for a third party willing to take over the festivals financial and organizational responsibilities.
The 2019 Elvis festival runs July 26th through 28th.