Richmond’s annual World Festival has been nominated for Best Public Event at this year’s Canadian Regional Event Awards.
Now gearing up for its fifth year, the annual, local festival brings food, music, art and cultural flair to the city each summer.
“We’re pretty excited to be nominated and also pretty proud of the fact that (the festival) is getting recognized, and recognized as one of the best festivals in Canada,” said Bryan Tasaka, manager of major events for the City of Richmond.
“We’ve known that it was a really amazing and exciting event right from the start so for it to be recognized, we’re pretty thrilled.”
Each year the Richmond World Festival hosts performers across multiple stages, artists and food trucks to celebrate the city’s cultural diversity. For Tasaka, the festival is a unique way for the community to come together.
“It encourages people to share their unique cultural heritage with the community, with each other,” he said.
“Compared to other, smaller community events, this one is really city-wide and an event that also draws regionally and tourists that come to town are coming out to take part. So that it has that large-scale appeal is great.”
In its first year, the festival took place over one day and saw around 25,000 people. By 2017, the festival expanded to two days and last year, the festival saw around 55,000 people.
For Tasaka, the fact that the festival is free plays a huge role in drawing people in.
“For people that maybe can’t get out to a concert, maybe they have small kids or maybe the cost of going to a concert at Rogers Arena is too much, they can come to the World Festival and see bands…for free,” he said.
“It makes it affordable to many families.”
Last year's festival hosted headliners Lights and Magic! This year, the Richmond World Festival is scheduled for Labour Day long weekend, on Aug. 30 and 31. While headline acts have been booked, Tasaka said they won’t be announced until early July.
The Canadian Regional Event Awards will be announced on March 28 in Toronto and the Richmond festival is up against five other events: Vancouver’s Skookum music festival, Capilano University’s Capfest, and Toronto-based Recess: All Inclusive, Woofstock and Brookfield Residential Dockside Activation.