Amherstburg Uncommon Festival

Town picks up three awards at Festival & Events Ontario (FEO) conference



By Ron Giofu


The Town of Amherstburg picked up some awards at the Festival & Events Ontario (FEO) conference in London.

Awards were presented last Thursday night as part of the FEO conference with the town picking up three of them.

Amherstburg was selected as the 2019 Municipality of the Year in the 50,000 or less population category. The award recognizes the “Best in Community Leadership and Festival and Event Partnerships in the Province of Ontario” with a press release from FEO adding that the award “is intended for the festivals and events industry to openly encourage, support, learn from and recognize positive local environments for festivals and events provincially.”

The award recognizes communities that “have worked, through concentrated efforts, to provide an atmosphere beneficial to successful festivals and events.”

Dr. Von Houligan’s Carnival of Calamities got the crowd going with some fire-breathing action at the Amherstburg Uncommon Festival in August. That festival won an award as did the town itself, which was “Municipality of the Year.” River Lights was also named at Top 100 festival in the province by Festivals & Events Ontario.

“The key word here is partnerships,” said Mayor Aldo DiCarlo in a media release. “Working together with our volunteers, our attractions, our sponsors and the collaboration of staff is paramount. Amherstburg is always looking to meet the highest standards in delivering quality experiences and quality of life to our residents and visitors alike. We thank FEO for this prestigious award!”

The winner of the Municipality of the Year award in the 50,000-150,000 category was the Municipality of Clarington while Hamilton and Richmond Hill tied for the award in the over 150,000 population category.

Amherstburg was also successful in the Best New Festival or Event category as the Amherstburg Uncommon Festival won in the $100,000 or less category. The winner in the $100,001-$500,000 category was the WTF Festival in Sault Ste. Marie while the winner in the $500,001 or more category was the Ride, Dine ‘N’ Stein event in Kitchener-Waterloo.

This year’s Amherstburg Uncommon Festival is scheduled for Sept. 27-29.

FEO also announced the Top 100 Festivals & Events in Ontario with Amherstburg having representation in that as well. The River Lights Winter Festival was named as one of the Top 100. Other Windsor-Essex County festivals or events included in the southwestern Ontario tourism region included the Hogs for Hospice event, the Carrousel of Nations and the Tecumseh Corn Festival.

Submissions from FEO members were received for consideration in the fall of 2018 and were judged by an independent panel of judges. FEO notes that festivals and events of all kinds from across Ontario were represented in the submissions, including community festivals to internationally recognized events.

For a schedule of the 2019 upcoming festivals and events, please visit or



Free admission day at Fort Malden this Saturday

Fort Malden National Historic Site of Canada is offering free admission this Saturday.

According to a news release sent out by Parks Canada, it states the federal government “celebrating families and the importance of our protected areas with free admission to Parks Canada’s places for youth 17 and under, starting in 2018 and beyond.”

Parks Canada states that  is also pleased to offer free admission or lockage for one day at Parks Canada’s places across the country this year, noting this is a special thank you to the millions of Canadians who celebrated Canada 150 with Parks Canada in 2017 when more Canadians than ever before had amazing experiences at Parks Canada’s places.”

Free admission day is site-specific and the date is determined by each national park or historic site. It is important to note that only admission is free on free admission day. Fees for recreational services and goods such as camping and firewood, boat launches, transportation, or special tours remain.

Fort Malden has determined its free admission day will be Saturday during the Amherstburg Uncommon Festival. However, a special event during the evening will still require an admission charge.

Activities will include musket demonstrations, noon day gun, a tactical artillery demonstration, and a Marquee Escape room. Later in the day, starting at 5:30 p.m., Fort Malden will host a Murder Mystery event. A special fee of $12.10 will be charged for this presentation.

For a complete list or dates for each national park or national historic site please visit Parks Canada’s website.

“National parks, historic sites, and marine conservation areas represent the very best that Canada has to offer. They and tell the stories of who we are, including the history, cultures, and contributions of Indigenous peoples. Fort Malden National Historic Site is a national treasure, and on Free Admission Day, I invite Canadian families, youth, and visitors to our country to explore it and connect with Canada’s nature and history,” stated Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada.