It’s hard to get 10,000 people in this town to do anything at the same time, but one of them was Festival Italiano. In a surprise move, the annual celebration of all things Italian, an ethnic group that still carries tremendous prominence in the Royal City, will not be having its 22nd annual event this year.
Ordinarily, Festival Italiano unfolds over three days in July, but in it seems that infrastructural obligations at the Italian Canadian Club, the festival’s organizer, are taking precedence.
According to CTV News, it’s renovations to the main banquet rooms at the ICC that is getting their Board’s attention this summer, a massive project that requires more attention than they can afford to split by also organizing the huge logistical operation that is Festival Italiano.
“It’s not a decision we took lightly, but the main part of our business is the banquet business and it’s in need of an updating in those rooms,” said ICC general manager James Prigione to the Guelph Mercury. “It can’t be postponed any further.”
But will the show go on next year?
“We don’t know if it’s going to return in the same fashion that it was. We may bring it back with a different face maybe,” Prigione told the Merc. “This will give us a chance to take a bit of a breather and evaluate what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. See if any improvements can be made.”
Of course, there’s always Hillside at the end of July. If you can get tickets…