First we lose Aquafest, and now Festival of Friends is on the chopping block.
While other cities - bigger and more exciting cities like Vancouver - drool over the prospects of having an event such as this, our city council doesn't consider it good enough to assist with increased funding.
The same city council that doesn't mind subsidizing the home building industry to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars with new highways and insanely low development charges can't find a few extra thousand dollars for our well-run, community-pride building summer festivals.
As city staff said regarding the official end of Aquafest, not many outside residents come anymore. It's mostly just Hamilton residents. Heaven forbid.
Maybe city council doesn't think Hamiltonians deserve to have fun. Or maybe they have different ideas in mind.
Perhaps the city can organize Canada's first ever Big Box Festival, where citizens line up their cars indy-style and race from one big box store to the next to see who can find the item made with the cheapest child labour in each store.
Or maybe we can have a contest to build Canada's largest suburban driveway. See if we can get 15 or 20 cars in one home's driveway...if there are any trees in the way, just pave em' over.
Surely events like this would put Hamilton back on Canada's cultural fun map. Tourists would come from all over. Much like they have been for the past few decades to the Festival of Friends.
I guess it's our turn to be the tourists now, so I'll see you in Vancouver next year at Canada's largest free arts and culture event. I'm sure that city will do it up right and give this event the funding and prestige it deserves.
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