From grass-roots community involvement to corporate sponsorship and strategic planning, a lot goes into sustaining and growing an event like the Apple Blossom Festival.
Over the past 80 years, the festival has celebrated and showcased Annapolis Valley traditions and agricultural heritage by providing family-friendly events for all Valley communities and visitors. With any festival, there are specific ingredients that are key to longevity. Financial management is part of the festival’s recipe for success.
“Many people feel that the Apple Blossom Festival has very deep pockets or is greatly subsidized,” said Ray Savage, a past festival president and former member of the festival advisory board.
Both, he says, are falsehoods.
“The festival runs a very tight financial ship and being a non-profit organization, it basically just breaks even. There have been years in the past where festival did struggle financially, but with a lot of work and perseverance, the festival has stood the test of time.”
Savage recognized corporate sponsorships as an important part of the financial equation, benefiting not only the festival itself, but also the community as a whole. The grand street parade, children’s parade and the fireworks, which remain crowd favorites year after year, are only possible through the generosity of corporate partners.
“These events alone bring literally thousands of visitors, and without corporate partners, these events would just not be able to come together as they do,” he said.
Another key to the success of any festival featuring outdoor events is the weather.
“Of course weather is a huge factor. There has been many a year the festival was blessed with great weather, but there have also been some not-so-nice days along the way,” said Savage.
Regardless of what Mother Nature doles out, people return year-after- year to share in the festival traditions.
“The Apple Blossom Festival is not only a Valley treasure, but one of Canada's treasured events as well.”