Fergus Scottish Festival thankful for $50,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant

FERGUS – Officials with the Fergus Scottish Festival are expressing their thanks for a $50,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) and looking forward to next year’s festival with the appointment of a new board of directors.

The OTF grant, through the Community Building Fund (operating stream), was used to recover from impacts of the pandemic by supporting operations and the implementation of COVID-19 protocols.

“The impact of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant cannot be overstated,” stated festival vice president Matthew Bennett-Monty in a Nov. 28 press release, four days after the festival’s annual general meeting.

“This grant has allowed the festival to maintain operations and increase resilience in planning and presenting its first live event since 2019.

“Emerging from uncertain times, the grant has had a favourable outcome on the festival in the short term, however we are confident this is something that will no doubt continue well into the future.”

Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott said he is “very grateful” for the OTF’s support of the festival.

“This iconic annual celebration of all things Scottish continues to bring thousands of visitors to our community each year, and we thank all the volunteers and sponsors who work so hard to make it possible,” Arnott stated in the release.

Festival officials say that thanks to the funding, the festival was “able to maintain staff salaries, which allowed the organization to deliver safe programming while following public health requirements, keep up with daily operations, and ensure the festival is sustainable for many years to come.”

After two years of modified/virtual events due to the pandemic, the 2022 Fergus Scottish Festival was a resounding success, with attendance reaching over 26,000.

The more traditional festival featured Heavy Events; Highland Dance; pipes and drum competitions; a clans and heritage area; local, national and international performers; and more.

Organizers are currently preparing for the 2023 festival Aug. 11 to 13.

They say anyone wanting more information can sign up for a newsletter at fergusscottishfestival.com or follow the festival on social media.

Also at the Nov, 24 AGM, the festival announced its 2023 board of directors: Christine de Nottbeck, Scott Russell, vice president Heather Matthews, president Matthew Bennett-Monty, director at large Rob Black, Deb Dalziel and Warren Trask.