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'Absolutely exceeded expectations': Organizers report success at Cathedral Village Arts Festival

Organizers say the 2024 Cathedral Village Arts Festival attracted an estimated 50,000 people. (Courtesy: Cathedral Village Art Festival) Organizers say the 2024 Cathedral Village Arts Festival attracted an estimated 50,000 people. (Courtesy: Cathedral Village Art Festival)
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An annual fixture in the Queen City, organizers for the Cathedral Village Arts Festival are saying the 2024 iteration of the week long event exceeded expectations – and then some.

It’s an event that sees tens of thousands of visitors fill 13th Avenue. This year was no different.

“A spectacular festival this year. Absolutely exceeded expectations,” festival director Don Young told CTV News.

Young said that an estimated 50,000 people attended the weeklong celebration in Regina’s Cathedral Neighbourhood.

“We had people with clickers trying to keep track, but there were so many people that we couldn’t,” he explained. “We know 30,000 is the norm … I as director think 50K is a good solid number.”

Among the highlights was a performance from singer-songwriter Andy Shauf.

The artist, originally from Estevan, acted as the festival’s “headliner” and brought in quite the crowd, according to Young.

“On Saturday night, and we had him in the tent … the tent holds about 600 and there must have been 1500 people spilled out onto the grass,” he said.

“It looked like a mini Woodstock and that was what we were hoping for.”

The event is free and requires the support of volunteers, the community and sponsors to run.

“None of that logic gives you a good business model,” Young laughed.

Despite a reduced budget for this year’s festival, Young said that both the community, in the form of small dollar contributions, and sponsors stepped up in a big way.

“The only way we can survive is with the community and sponsors helping out and this year they did,” he said.

“That sense of the community coming together, really is what made the festival soar this year,” he added.

One other highlight Young was sure to note was the inclusion of Indigenous voices in the event.

The festival’s opening picnic on May 20 was adorned with teepees and featured Indigenous performers and a knowledge keeper.

“We wanted them to have a kind of a guiding voice in the festival,” he said. “We work closely with the First Nations, closely with the city and the Indigenous component in the picnic was fantastic.

“We want to do more next year because it worked really well this year.”

For now, Young and the festival board plan to celebrate the success.

Planning for next year’s festival is due to begin following Labour Day.

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