SOE Wine Festival aims to clarify their organization separate of town, moving forward as scheduled with plans

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amid growing concern from people wondering what the future holds for the Shores of Erie International Wine Festival in light of the town’s financial quagmire, festival organizers say the public need not worry.

Shores of Erie International Wine Festival board members toast the crowd at the opening of the 2013 festival. The festival states while they are appreciative of all the support the festival has received from the town over the years, the festival's finances are independent from that of the town.

Shores of Erie International Wine Festival board members toast the crowd at the opening of the 2013 festival. The festival states while they are appreciative of all the support the festival has received from the town over the years, the festival’s finances are independent from that of the town.

Festival committee chair Karen Gyorgy and festival director Kelly O’Rourke both have stated they are very appreciative of support the festival has received from the town over the years but that support is primarily non-financial. They also stated the Shores of Erie International Wine Festival is not connected with the town from a financial perspective.

“We want to clarify that the Shores of Erie International Wine Festival is an Ontario non-profit corporation and we financially operate independent of the Town of Amherstburg,” said Gyorgy.

O’Rourke reiterated those points.

“We are totally independent financially,” said O’Rourke. “We are a non-profit organization in the Province of Ontario. We operate on a break-even basis. Our goal is to break even every year. We just want people to know we’re OK. We’re just fine.”

Gyorgy noted the town has been “very supportive” of the festival “as an exciting and positive addition to our community’s quality of life.” She added the town has released its public events manual that details park and user fees for items such as garbage barrels, picnic tables, road barricades, over the road banner placements and similar items.

“This simplifies the entire process of partnering with the Town of Amherstburg,” said Gyorgy.

O’Rourke added announcements will be coming soon about the entertainment for this year’s festival. This year is the 10th anniversary of the wine festival and O’Rourke said it is a time for celebration.

“We want people to be excited with us,” she said. “We’ve had amazing support from the residents of the town.”

“This is a good celebration,” added Gyorgy. “It’s time to celebrate.”

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