Ottawa’s annual Greekfest kicks off today, but not everyone is celebrating. At a press conference early this morning, Greekfest President Angelo Stamkos announced that the organization has defaulted on a sizeable loan this year.
“We’ve been having financial difficulties for a while,” says Stamkos. “We’ve done our best to mask these troubles in the past, but they seem to be coming to a head this year.” The costs for Greekfest are impressive, including venue fees, tent rentals, and olives. To complicate matters further, this bad news has caused multiple sponsors to pull their support.
The festival has been a summer staple for years, attracting thousands of participants. The ten day party showcases the best of Greek food, music, and art. While many plan on dancing the Zorba for the next week, others are not as cheerful. The future of the festival is uncertain, but many people are already proposing solutions.
“I think it is only fair that Ottawa Festivals bail us out. We have been a member of the organization for years, and have asked for nothing in return. We can’t all be as successful and well-off as the Germans with Oktoberfest, you know? If Greekfest goes down it could be bad news for other festivals in the area,” says Stamkos. “Who knows, this could be the start of a global festival meltdown.”