The 8th annual Chatham-Kent & Lambton Children’s Water Festival has been cancelled for 2015 due to uncertainty around the ongoing Public Elementary Teachers’ (ETFO) negotiations with the provincial government. As a result of the recent announcement by the ETFO regarding escalating job actions, the organizing committee for the event decided not to gamble on there being a sudden resolution to the dispute. The annual Festival, scheduled for September 29, September 30 and October 1 at the C.M. Wilson Conservation Area just south of Chatham, has been attended by over 10,000 elementary students from the Chatham-Kent & Lambton area since 2007.
The Festival is planned for elementary school attendance of over 1800 students – 600 participants each day of the 3 day event. As of Friday, Sept 18, only 110 students were registered for day 2 of the Festival. Historically, public elementary students have contributed to up to 75% of the annual attendance figures of this popular outdoor educational event. Without their participation, the set-up and running of the Festival, which involves 350 volunteers, sponsors, suppliers and other contracted services, and has been in the planning stages for the past 9 months, is just not feasible.
Cancellations of a number of other Children’s Water Festivals across the Province have occurred over the past several weeks. Children’s Water Festivals are part of a provincial network – the Children’s Water Education Council (CWEC).
The Chatham-Kent & Lambton Children’s Water Festival Committee would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to the large number of community groups and individuals for their support and sponsorship, and looks forward to being able to provide this unique educational experience in 2016.
For more information please contact:
Don Hector –Festival Coordinator
Chatham-Kent & Lambton Children’s Water Festival