Community group should take over Timberfest 2015, committee says

BARRY’S BAY – Although this year’s Timberfest made a profit, it does not look like the township wants to organize it again in 2015.

At the March 5 recreation, heritage and community economic development committee, Recreation and Development Community Coordinator Paul Nopper presented a finalized report on Timberfest 2014.

After searching for months for someone to take over the popular winter festival, council decided to step up to the plate and organize it one final time.

Nopper’s report indicated that some events were a hit while others, like the Yuk Yuk’s comedy performance, was a bust. According to Nopper, a total of 27 people showed up to the show.

“It’s ran its course,” committee member Sylvie Yantha said.

The Timberfest Cup, however, was once again well attended with more than 175 people showing up. The Lumberjack and Jill dance was full as well.

After the numbers were tallied, Timberfest 2014 brought in a $1,072.39 profit for the township.

Nopper said despite the profit, he would like to see a community group step in to organize the next festival.

“It was a lot of work,” he said.

He spent more than 40 hours organizing the event with South of 60 Acting Curator Danielle Paul.

“We put in a large amount of staff time to get this running in the two months we did have,” Nopper explained.

In the past, the Lions Club, namely president Phil Conway, organized the popular event.

“We will never find another organizer like Phil Conway,” Yantha said.

After Conway’s passing, the club stepped back from the festival.

“They should have kept it,” Mayor David Shulist said. “The Lions Club, their mandate is to go do events like that and put the money back into the community…Really, they should step up.”

Shulist said council should make it public that it wants the community to organize the next festival.

Get your March 12, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read this full story.