Future of Edmonton street performers festival site up in the air

The Edmonton International Street Performers Festival concluded a sometimes-stormy, sometimes-scorching week in Old Strathcona Sunday.

With the one-year countdown now ticking toward next summer’s festival, organizers are waiting for the city to confirm whether the event can return to its usual location in Churchill Square.

Downtown LRT construction pushed the 2018 festival into Dr. Wilbert McIntyre Park, near the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market.

Restrictions on the site forced organizers to crunch the annual festival from 10 days into six.

The change in venue affected every aspect of the festival, said long-time artistic producer Shelley Switzer.

“This was our best and temporary move for this year to be here in Old Strathcona,” she said.

Shelley Switzer, artistic producer of the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, says she cannot yet confirm whether the festival will return to Churchill Square in 2019. (Zoe Todd/CBC)

The city has promised access to Churchill Square by spring 2019, Switzer said, adding she’s “filled with hope” while waiting for more details.

“What we don’t know, from the city, is when they’re going to finalize that information,” she said.

Each festival is planned more than a year in advance, she said. 

Switzer refused to say whether there was a date by which organizers would default to another temporary location for the 2019 festival, failing a commitment from the city regarding Churchill Square.

“I’m really not going to answer this question,” Switzer said. “I just don’t need to put that energy out there.”

In an email to CBC News, Kate Hamblin, a marketing and communications representative for the festival, said the event’s 2019 location has yet to be determined.

“We’re working with the City on the details, but haven’t been given the green light,” Hamblin said. “We do know the festival dates will be July 5-14, 2019.”

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Originally posted 2018-07-15 21:23:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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