CentreFest looks for community support

  • Jun. 10, 2015 2:40 p.m.

CentreFest is in desperate need of community support to continue operating after this year; without it, they are in danger of having to axe the festival.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for donations under ‘CentreFest Needs Your Support’. Organizers hope to raise $15,000 to seed support for future festivals.

“We still need to raise some funds. This year’s festival will be a go, but what it means is that if we go without any more fundraising support, next year’s festival is not going to be in a very good financial position,” said Janice Shimek, festival director. “Funds that should be set aside for 2016 – we will have to use all of those funds for this year’s festival, which is not something that we want to do.”

This year’s CentreFest will take place July 25th-26th in downtown Red Deer.

She added as Central Alberta’s largest street performer’s festival, CentreFest brings a little adventure to the City. From sword swallowers to gut-busting comedians to fire breathing acrobats, this festival is an event that nearly 30,000 people witness every year.

“We get numerous comments from people who have come to the festival and bring their families down that there is nowhere else they can go throughout the year and it doesn’t cost them a small fortune,” said Shimek. “We thought maybe we should look at something where individuals who have enjoyed CentreFest – if they want to see the festival continue, maybe they would consider donating that $5, $10 or $20. We have had individuals who have donated $50 because they said they absolutely love it.”

She added if Red Deer lost the festival, it would be really unfortunate.

“This is a one-of-a-kind festival – you do not see these performances anywhere else. I think anytime we can have arts and culture in our community it is a good thing. I think we need to foster the arts and we don’t do that enough. To lose a festival like this would be really sad for the community as a whole.”

CentreFest invites the community, businesses and other organizations to partner with CentreFest to continue to produce this spectacular event for decades to come. Whether it’s $1 or $1,000, every bit helps, Shimek said.

Meanwhile, Dylan Brown owner of local tattoo shop Art and Soul Tattoo is auctioning off three $100 gift cards besides donating personally to the cause as well, said Shimek.

To donate to CentreFest, visit gofund.me/centrefest.

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

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