PERTH - The Stewart Park Festival has been recognized as one of the top 100 festivals in Ontario.
From left, Perth Mayor John Fenik, Stewart Park Festival chair John McKenty, Heather Hansgen, coordinator, Perth Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA), Coun. Judy Brown, chairing the committee-of-the-whole meeting on March 5, Joel Leblanc, festival artistic director, Rachel Morgan, BIA intern, and Steve Tennant, on-site-coordinator of the festival, with the Festivals and Events Ontario plaque recognizing the festival as one of the top 100 festivals or events in Ontario.
Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO) bestowed the honour on the festival at its annual conference in Mississauga, on the first weekend of March, where Coun. Beth Peterkin accepted the award on the organizing committee's behalf.
But Perth town council decided to honour the festival locally at its committee-of-the-whole meeting on Tuesday, March 5.
"There is stiff competition to get into the top 100," said Peterkin of the competition from the 3,000 plus festivals and events held across the province every year. "It is an extremely well-recognized award."
Mayor John Fenik commended the festival organizers for their hard work and well deserved accolade.
"It (the festival) has become engrained as part of the fabric of this town," said Fenik. "It couldn't happen without the volunteers."
For him, the Stewart Park Festival sets the ideal tone for downtown heritage Perth on a soft summer's evening. Turning the corner near the bandshell behind town hall, Fenik admitted that he sometimes looks upon the festival in full swing and thinks, "Look! A Norman Rockwell painting has come to life."
The festival has been in existence for 22 years.
"The time and dedication of volunteers over the years have made the Stewart Park Festival a signature tourism attraction in Perth," added Fenik.
The festival was nominated by Perth Tourism.
"On behalf of the Perth Tourism team, I congratulate Stewart Park Festival organizers for bringing this spectacular three-day, free music event to our community every year," said Karen Rennie, heritage manager.
At the end of the presentation, the committee was presented with the FEO plaque.