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Festival of Friends latest COVID casualty

It would have been the 45 annual Festival of Friends but Hamilton’s longest running music festival has been cancelled due to concerns about the COVID pandemic..

“While it’s hard to fathom a summer in Hamilton without the Festival of Friends, our priority has to be the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and attendees. We know that this has been a year of firsts for everyone, and we’re all doing our best to look out for each other,” said Robert Rakoczy, General Manager.

The Festival of Friends in a release says it brings in over $12 million dollars annually in economic spin‐off to the City.

“Our heart goes out to the 120 independent local vendors, artisans, and musicians that are facing a lost summer of revenue. If you are able, please search out these businesses and artists and try to support them whenever possible. They are truly hurting,” continued Robert.

The Festival of Friends has received commitments from the City of Hamilton  and the Federal Government, that funding will continue to cover operating costs. 

“We greatly appreciate the support the City of Hamilton and its councilors have given towards continuing our funding despite the cancellation. This support ensures that the Festival of Friends will remain long after COVID‐19,” said Roman Novak, President of the Board of Directors.

To quote the legendary Bruce Cockburn, “We’ll meet again, at the Festival of Friends.”

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