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Children560From left, Harmony Lipskie, age 9; Brody Darling, age 3; Owen Lipskie, age 6 and Joshua Darling, age 7 enjoyed some fresh maple taffy at the 2017 Saugeen Bluffs Maple Syrup Festival.  

Times change, as we all know, and that applies to festivals and events as well. In 2018, the Saugeen Valley Conservation Foundation (SVCF) will not be hosting its annual Saugeen Bluffs Maple Syrup Festival.

“The Festival has been ongoing for 48 years so we’ve certainly given it our best shot,” said Catherine Dickison, Chair of the SVCF. “When we first began this event, there were only a few in Grey and Bruce counties.” Dickison added that site conditions, preparations, poor weather conditions; all paired with decreased attendance, has resulted in a deficit over the past few years.

On a positive note, however, Dickison stated that they are happy to be in discussions to hand the ‘sweet’ torch over to the Port Elgin BIA. “We’ve been in touch with the BIA and we’re very pleased that they are interested in hosting a maple event of their own. We’re working together with them and trying to be of help where we can,” she said.

Jeff Carver, President of the Port Elgin BIA was keen to see a maple tradition continue in Saugeen Shores. “It will be much easier to host an event of this nature within town,” Carver said. “The SVCF was having to deal with upfront costs of opening up Saugeen Bluffs Campground early for the event, turning on the water, clearing snow, etc. Thankfully, we already have the infrastructure in place and a set audience here in town. We are very excited to work with the SVCF to make this a reality for the 2018 maple syrup season,” he continued.

Luke Charbonneau, Chair of the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, said that while he is sorry to see the event at the Bluffs come to an end, he is excited at the possibility that a renewed Maple Syrup Festival will take place in Saugeen Shores next year. “On behalf of the Conservation Authority, I would also like to thank the SVCF for their years of hard work on the event,” he said.

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