Long-running East York Canada Day festival, parade was almost cancelled

Community Jul 05, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie East York Mirror

There was no way the 60th annual East York Canada Day parade and festival wouldn’t go ahead as planned, especially for Canada’s 150th birthday.

The popular July 1 event is run by volunteers, and a mixup with some volunteers leaving last fall left some loose ends, most notably the lack of an application for a much-needed grant from Heritage Canada.

“We were out roughly $7,300. That was a big chunk of our budget gone,” said Shannon Timms, a lifelong East York resident who previously served as the secretary of the East York Canada Day Corporation, but has since stepped in to serve as its chair.

The corporation also missed the deadline to apply for a Canada 150 grant and despite the best of efforts from local MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith's office did not get that additional funding.

Determined to push forward, an urgent call for help was issued.

Local MPP Arthur Potts, along with area resident Michael Rusek and a couple of other community members came forward to raise some funds.

"(The event) was in real danger of cancellation, but together we were able to raise almost $15,000,” Rusek said Tuesday.

In a release, Potts said he’s pleased his office was “able to rally a large number of very generous sponsors to help.”

He also urged everyone to thank the volunteers, organizers, and sponsors for helping make events, like Canada Day in East York, a reality.

The organizations and agencies that help save the event include: Blue Goose Pure Foods, The Carpenters Union, Susan Gucci Real Estate Team, Labourers' International Union of North America, Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, Wright Sisters Realty, The Danforth Mosaic Business Improvement Area, East York Foundation, Insurance Brokers of Toronto Region, Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, which sponsored the mainstage, and Insurance Brokers of Toronto Region, which sponsored the bingo tent.

“They did a fabulous job fundraising,” said Timms, who also credited Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis for her efforts to save the event, which costs roughly $55,000 to put on each year.

The City of Toronto has been a longtime partner of the celebration, but this year helped out in a much bigger way.

“The city stepped up. We covered all of the costs associated with the stage, the sound system, the washrooms, the garbage collection … all of the logistical parts of the event,” Davis told The East York Mirror.

“We also picked up the cost of the parks permit and the insurance.”

Parks, forestry and recreation provide games and activities to fill the void from the midway, which didn’t happen this year.

The city also put on the fireworks show.

“I’m pleased the city was able to once again commit to funding a significant portion of (the event),” Davis said.

In the end, she said thousands of people had a great time at a well-loved community event.

“It’s like a small town parade and fair. East York has such a sense of community spirit and pride,” she said.

“We’ve managed to make sure Canada Day is a special event in East York no matter the circumstances. Canada Day is a significant event for our community and we will continue to make sure it happens.”

Moving forward, Timms said she’d like to see East York’s Canada Day festivities get back to its roots.  

“I’d love to bring back more of the community involvement,” said Timms, who has received several messages from community members eager to get involved.

“I want it to go back to a more sponsored event so the grant is more of a bonus.”

Long-running East York Canada Day festival, parade was almost cancelled

Sponsors step in to replace missed funding

Community Jul 05, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie East York Mirror

There was no way the 60th annual East York Canada Day parade and festival wouldn’t go ahead as planned, especially for Canada’s 150th birthday.

The popular July 1 event is run by volunteers, and a mixup with some volunteers leaving last fall left some loose ends, most notably the lack of an application for a much-needed grant from Heritage Canada.

“We were out roughly $7,300. That was a big chunk of our budget gone,” said Shannon Timms, a lifelong East York resident who previously served as the secretary of the East York Canada Day Corporation, but has since stepped in to serve as its chair.

The corporation also missed the deadline to apply for a Canada 150 grant and despite the best of efforts from local MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith's office did not get that additional funding.

Related Content

Determined to push forward, an urgent call for help was issued.

Local MPP Arthur Potts, along with area resident Michael Rusek and a couple of other community members came forward to raise some funds.

"(The event) was in real danger of cancellation, but together we were able to raise almost $15,000,” Rusek said Tuesday.

In a release, Potts said he’s pleased his office was “able to rally a large number of very generous sponsors to help.”

He also urged everyone to thank the volunteers, organizers, and sponsors for helping make events, like Canada Day in East York, a reality.

The organizations and agencies that help save the event include: Blue Goose Pure Foods, The Carpenters Union, Susan Gucci Real Estate Team, Labourers' International Union of North America, Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, Wright Sisters Realty, The Danforth Mosaic Business Improvement Area, East York Foundation, Insurance Brokers of Toronto Region, Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, which sponsored the mainstage, and Insurance Brokers of Toronto Region, which sponsored the bingo tent.

“They did a fabulous job fundraising,” said Timms, who also credited Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis for her efforts to save the event, which costs roughly $55,000 to put on each year.

The City of Toronto has been a longtime partner of the celebration, but this year helped out in a much bigger way.

“The city stepped up. We covered all of the costs associated with the stage, the sound system, the washrooms, the garbage collection … all of the logistical parts of the event,” Davis told The East York Mirror.

“We also picked up the cost of the parks permit and the insurance.”

Parks, forestry and recreation provide games and activities to fill the void from the midway, which didn’t happen this year.

The city also put on the fireworks show.

“I’m pleased the city was able to once again commit to funding a significant portion of (the event),” Davis said.

In the end, she said thousands of people had a great time at a well-loved community event.

“It’s like a small town parade and fair. East York has such a sense of community spirit and pride,” she said.

“We’ve managed to make sure Canada Day is a special event in East York no matter the circumstances. Canada Day is a significant event for our community and we will continue to make sure it happens.”

Moving forward, Timms said she’d like to see East York’s Canada Day festivities get back to its roots.  

“I’d love to bring back more of the community involvement,” said Timms, who has received several messages from community members eager to get involved.

“I want it to go back to a more sponsored event so the grant is more of a bonus.”

Long-running East York Canada Day festival, parade was almost cancelled

Sponsors step in to replace missed funding

Community Jul 05, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie East York Mirror

There was no way the 60th annual East York Canada Day parade and festival wouldn’t go ahead as planned, especially for Canada’s 150th birthday.

The popular July 1 event is run by volunteers, and a mixup with some volunteers leaving last fall left some loose ends, most notably the lack of an application for a much-needed grant from Heritage Canada.

“We were out roughly $7,300. That was a big chunk of our budget gone,” said Shannon Timms, a lifelong East York resident who previously served as the secretary of the East York Canada Day Corporation, but has since stepped in to serve as its chair.

The corporation also missed the deadline to apply for a Canada 150 grant and despite the best of efforts from local MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith's office did not get that additional funding.

Related Content

Determined to push forward, an urgent call for help was issued.

Local MPP Arthur Potts, along with area resident Michael Rusek and a couple of other community members came forward to raise some funds.

"(The event) was in real danger of cancellation, but together we were able to raise almost $15,000,” Rusek said Tuesday.

In a release, Potts said he’s pleased his office was “able to rally a large number of very generous sponsors to help.”

He also urged everyone to thank the volunteers, organizers, and sponsors for helping make events, like Canada Day in East York, a reality.

The organizations and agencies that help save the event include: Blue Goose Pure Foods, The Carpenters Union, Susan Gucci Real Estate Team, Labourers' International Union of North America, Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, Wright Sisters Realty, The Danforth Mosaic Business Improvement Area, East York Foundation, Insurance Brokers of Toronto Region, Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, which sponsored the mainstage, and Insurance Brokers of Toronto Region, which sponsored the bingo tent.

“They did a fabulous job fundraising,” said Timms, who also credited Ward 31 Councillor Janet Davis for her efforts to save the event, which costs roughly $55,000 to put on each year.

The City of Toronto has been a longtime partner of the celebration, but this year helped out in a much bigger way.

“The city stepped up. We covered all of the costs associated with the stage, the sound system, the washrooms, the garbage collection … all of the logistical parts of the event,” Davis told The East York Mirror.

“We also picked up the cost of the parks permit and the insurance.”

Parks, forestry and recreation provide games and activities to fill the void from the midway, which didn’t happen this year.

The city also put on the fireworks show.

“I’m pleased the city was able to once again commit to funding a significant portion of (the event),” Davis said.

In the end, she said thousands of people had a great time at a well-loved community event.

“It’s like a small town parade and fair. East York has such a sense of community spirit and pride,” she said.

“We’ve managed to make sure Canada Day is a special event in East York no matter the circumstances. Canada Day is a significant event for our community and we will continue to make sure it happens.”

Moving forward, Timms said she’d like to see East York’s Canada Day festivities get back to its roots.  

“I’d love to bring back more of the community involvement,” said Timms, who has received several messages from community members eager to get involved.

“I want it to go back to a more sponsored event so the grant is more of a bonus.”