There will be no street festival in Winnipeg’s Osborne Village this Canada Day.
Lindsay Somers, the executive director for the Osborne Village BIZ, said the decision to pull the plug on the festival came after the organization surveyed area businesses – many of whom said they had to close during the festivities.
“They indicated that it wasn’t beneficial to their businesses, because we had a lot of outside food trucks and vendors come in for the street festival,” Somers told CTV News. “It grew beyond its community roots where the idea originated, and so we weren’t really meeting the needs of our members anymore.”
While there will be no street festival, Somers said Winnipeggers are still welcome to visit the Village on Canada Day.
The Osborne Village BIZ is launching its Happy Friday pilot project on July 1. The event, which will be slimmed down compared to the sprawling street festival, will include a concert series at the Bell Tower and encourage people to visit Osborne’s 12 patios.
“It’s just more to the scale of the Village experience, is what we want to encourage. It’s about connecting and being part of the neighbourhood,” Somers said. “It’s time for a reboot of Osborne Village and give the neighborhood the love it needs and polish it up and invite people back all summer long.”
She said this is a step in a new direction for the Village, one she hopes will lead the revitalization efforts. As for any future Canada Day events, Somers said she is open to any possibility.
“I would never say never for anything, but for right now, this is the right decision for us.”
The last time Osborne Village held a Canada Day Street Festival was in 2019.