Barrie ON, May 15th, 2020 – The Kempenfest leadership team has been meeting with municipal, provincial and federal governments on a regular basis to monitor the COVID19 crisis. Following the strict guidelines from the Health Minister & professionals, we have come to the decision that due to COVID-19 we need to move our 50th anniversary celebration to 2021. This is the first time in history that the event has been cancelled. While the festival was set to take place from July 31st to Aug 3, the Kempenfest board of directors recently voted to cancel this years event. The number one concern of government officials and Kempenfest was the need to protect the health and safety of their volunteers, vendors, guests and partners.

“It is the right decision to protect the health of the Kempenfest community. We want our visitors and participants to know that the show can not go on as planned this year and that safety is our number one priority – states Louise Jackson – General Manager Kempenfest has a local economic impact of approximately 12 million dollars to the community and supports multiple charities across the region. This will be a year that we will never forget how the tourism industry has taken a huge hit. Kempenfest will continue to work with our partners to give back to the community.

“Kempenfest is comprised of not for profit organizations that collectively own the name Kempenfest”. These charities are: The Kiwanis Club of Barrie, The Barrie Chamber of Commerce, The Knights of Columbus, The Optimist Club of Barrie, The Rotary Club of Barrie, The Barrie Art Club along with associate member Tourism Barrie and the City of Barrie for direction and support for the land use during that weekend. This was a very tough decision as these charities rely on this money each and every year for their commitments back into our community and that money simply won’t be there this year.,” says Todd Tuckey, Chair of Kempenfest While festival goers will not be able to enjoy Kempenfest with the crowds on the lakeshore this summer, organizers are already planning exciting and innovative ways to join in the fun. Follow @kempenfest on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter & for up to date information.

Kempenfest is Barrie’s signature summer event that brings thousands of visitors to our region annually to enjoy a day on the waterfront it is a summer tradition to so many people that will be missed this year. Tourism Barrie looks forward to working with Kempenfest on its plans to keep the festival top of mind and be ready to support it when it comes back in 2021 to celebrate its 50th anniversary” – says Kathleen Trainor, Executive Director – Tourism Barrie We look forward to seeing everyone again soon. We will be back stronger than ever.

For immediate release – May 15th 2020