A very sad change of plans: Summerfest is cancelled

Yesterday I wrote optimistically about pressing on with Summerfest, rain or shine (the post is removed to avoid confusing people further). At the time the forecast was for a sprinkle, and the organizing committee and I didn't want a little rain to ruin the fun. Unfortunately, the reality is that today the forecast has worsened, and upon further discussion with the committee we realized it was foolish to continue.

Yesterday I wrote optimistically about pressing on with Summerfest, rain or shine (the post is removed to avoid confusing people further). At the time the forecast was for a sprinkle, and the organizing committee and I didn’t want a little rain to ruin the fun. Unfortunately, the reality is that today the forecast has worsened, and upon further discussion with the committee we realized it was foolish to continue.

I hate to say one thing and do another, but the fact is that the weather is so terrible that few people would be likely to come out, and it didn’t seem fair to the vendors, volunteers and entertainers to ask them to come stand in the rain for four hours when everyone we spoke to said it was too rainy to come. The decision was not an easy one. It seemed that either way we would be disappointing someone.

Thank you everyone for your support, and I will let you know what happens next with Summerfest. The committee will meet soon to discuss whether it’s possible to reschedule. If you’re reading this and you’d like to pitch in to help with the work involved in rescheduling, please let me know in the comments or via email (briana at tenthtothefraser.ca) and I’ll be in touch to let you know what the committee decides.

Thank you all for your support, and once again, I am very sorry to disappoint you.

Sincerely,

Briana

Briana Tomkinson

Briana Tomkinson is a Montreal-based writer and original founder of Tenth to the Fraser. She really likes to write letters by hand.

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13 comments

  1. A bummer indeed.

    But you can'd hold a summerfest without a summer. I think you guys made the right call, as tough as it must have been.

    Let's not let this be the end of this new tradition, though! The West End needs a festival, and your fits the bill. Your efforts are still appreciated!

    1. Thanks Pat, appreciate the kind words. The committee is deciding whether to reschedule. There's a lot more organization that needs to happen to do it, but we are hearing from a lot of people that they would like us to try again another day.

  2. Brianna and Jen, those are the toughest decisions to make. Relying on long range forcasts are never accurate. Short forcasts are if they call for rain, it usually is, and cancellation in short time is difficult.
    Once you recover, I thnk mid August would be a good time to re-schedule, I anticipate August and Sept will be the two hotest months of the year.
    Once the 12th Street Festival is over, July 31st, I will be in a better position to help out.
    Sure hope we don't have to make the same heart wretching decision you guys did on July 31st

    1. Thank you John, I really appreciate your support. We are considering rescheduling, and your suggestion for August is a good one! Thanks for your offer to help as well. I'm rooting for the sun to come out on the 31st!

  3. You guys made the right call. You’re awesome for all the hard work you and the organizing committee put in. And I’m down to help with a bigger role for a rescheduled event.

  4. Thanks for all your hard work Brianna, you go above and beyond every time. We are all very fortunate to have you as New Westminster community leader.

  5. Good call to cancel – though it might have been quite spectacular to be surrounded by thunder and lighting while watching Princess Bride… for the one attendee ; >. It was awesome last year, and there's no doubt it will be again, this year or next. Our paper can help spread the word if you re-sked. Cheers.

  6. Brianna with your honest approach and communiy dedication you would make a wonderful elected official. Might you consider running for elected office? We need better representation in New Westminster.

    1. I'm flattered, but I don't think it's in the cards this election! For the time being I think I'd rather continue working on my pet projects independently. My kids are still young, and even after a few years running the blog and following city politics I still don't feel like I'm sufficiently informed to put my name forward. There's a lot I can do to improve my community working on my own initiative, and the more I get involved the more I learn how complex the issues are in our community! Thanks for the vote of support!

  7. An August Summerfest sounds fine to me. I'm happy to do it again and again. It is, after all our West End event. If those who were here in 2008 learned anything about ourselves and our neighbourhood, we learned that we have spirit and determination. There was little we could do this July, no summer, no fest. Thunder and lightning aside (and I love them both), it would have been a mucky mess and no one would have thanked us for trashing the field, not to mention the potential safety concerns (see Ottawa staged crash during storm). For those of you who aren't aware, the inflatable movie screen cannot get wet – AT ALL and even had we gone ahead with plans, we would not have been able to see The Princess Bride. Thank you to Briana, Gavin and Sloane for all their help in organizing this year's festival, it is work but it's a labour of love for me. Thank you to Renee from Parks, Culture and Recreation for her hard work, Nelson and Diana and Paul for delivering notices to residents and thanks to our neighbourhood for being so understanding and patient. The more the merrier folks, we'd love more of our West Enders to participate in making our festival as great as our neighbourhood. Let's chat and talk details.

  8. Thank you for sharing this MaryAnn and thank you for all your hard work and effort in saving our park in 2008. With out you there would be no Grimston park and no Summerfest!

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