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Members of non-profit groups and organizations involved in Port Elgin Pumpkinfest gathered at Sunbelt Rentals in Port Elgin March 4 in celebration of the awards the festival received at the recent Festival and Events Ontario convention in London, including an award for Best Community Partner Outreach Program.

Hub Staff

Port Elgin Pumpkinfest has been recognized for Best Community Partner Outreach Program for their partnerships with non profit groups and organizations through the Festival and Events Ontario (FEO) 2018 Achievement Awards.

Pumpkinfest Coordinator Joanne Robbins said it's an award that belongs to the whole community.

"I'm so proud of you all," she said at a press event March 4.

Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau said the award comes as no surprise to anyone who knows about Pumpkinfest or lives in Saugeen Shores. "This event has won awards before, it's winning awards now, it's going to keep winning awards in the future because of all the work that you guys do," he said.

"What's really special about these awards is that it's recognizing the community partnerships that Pumpkinfest is forged for its whole existence. Those partnerships make Pumpkinfest strong and they make our whole community strong and you guys are all a part of that," Charbonneau added.

The Best Community Partner Outreach Program award recognizes programming done throughout the year to benefit and help include all parts of the community while enhancing brand image.

Each year festivals and events have an opportunity to submit an application to FEO for a variety of awards with the community outreach award bringing particular focus to community impact. In the case of Port Elgin Pumpkinfest, one of their goals is to provide local non-profit groups, service clubs and organizations a venue to fundraise through the annual festival. Through paid contracts, fundraising booths, information booths and local activities, these groups are able to work within the festival to further various fundraising endeavours.

The economic impact of the program results in approximately $35,000 being injected into local non-profits.

Through the FEO Achievement Awards, Port Elgin Pumpkinfest was also named one of the Top 100 festivals in Ontario and received the Best New Single Sponsorship award with their partnership with Sunbelt Rentals.

See: Port Elgin Pumpkinfest named among Ontario's best festivals

The Top 100 winners met criteria around uniqueness and appeal, economic impact, quality of experience, promotional material and fan feedback with Pumpkinfest's award submission highlighting the festival's car show, the entertainment stage, children's activities and of course giant vegetables. The festival's average annual economic impact is $2.4 million.

In 2018 the Sunbelt Rentals partnership provided Pumpkinfest with fencing, scissor lifts, a generator and spotlight system, assistance with festival set up, and a golf cart for the Car Show Director to use throughout the weekend. In return, Pumpkinfest provided Sunbelt with brand recognition and acknowledgement both online and throughout the festival.

At the media event March 4 Pumpkinfest Executive Board Vice President Dave Mensher said he was the one to approach Branch Manager Cody Feltis. "It's been a tremendous experience to work with him," he said. "They're enthusiastic and when you have a business like that move into town we're all reaping the benefits and I think this award shows just that," he said.

Awards

From left, Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau, Pumpkinfest Vice President Dave Mensher, Bill Harwood and Cody Feltis of Sunbelt Rentals and Pumpkinfest Coordinator Joanne Robbins with the three awards that Pumpkinfest received at the recent Festivals and Events Ontario convention. One of the awards included Best New Sponsorship for the festival's work with Sunbelt Rentals.