Plans for large-scale Niagara music festival abandoned

Posted on: July 14, 2010

“A lack of funds has dashed dreams of mounting a summer music festival on the shores of Niagara-on-the-Lake,” writes James Bradshaw in Wednesday’s (7/14) Globe and Mail (Canada). “Project Niagara, an ambitious attempt to create a 17-week music festival on the models of the Tanglewood Music Festival and Ravinia Festival in the U.S., was formally abandoned on Tuesday after it became clear that essential government funding was not forthcoming. National Arts Centre CEO Peter Herrndorf and Toronto Symphony Orchestra CEO Andrew Shaw, who spearheaded the project over the past five and a half years, announced in a letter that ‘an unusually difficult economic and political environment makes it increasingly unlikely that we can attract the capital funding that we need.’ … The project’s capital costs had been estimated at $76.5-million, two thirds of which was to be evenly split between the federal and Ontario governments, and the remainder raised privately. Operating costs were expected to be $20-million annually, to be raised through private sources and revenues. … The Project Niagara team had argued that the 50-concert festival … would attract hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, generating $93-million each year in economic spinoffs and creating hundreds of jobs.”

Posted July 14, 2010