No more Winter Carnival in Orillia

A little bit of the FUN has been taken out of Winter in Orillia.

Sad news, with the announcement that the Winter Carnival will no happen this year, and perhaps for ever more, after first taking place in 1929.  A number of reasons are cited in the letter below sent out for the Carnival Comittee.


2019 Orillia Winter Carnival

December 4, 2018

For Immediate Release

There will not be a 2019 Orillia Winter Carnival.

The Orillia Winter Carnival committee regrets to inform you, that the Carnival is no more. After lengthy discussion and several setbacks the Orillia Winter Carnival Committee voted to disband and not move forward with planning future carnivals.

Long-time Carnival Committee Volunteer and this year’s Carnival Co-Chair Mark Earl said "It was a tough decision but in the end the small volunteer committee decided to pull the plug due to budget constraints, lack of volunteers and general lack of support for the event."

"We have struggled for several years to make the event bigger and better but each year attendance drops and fewer volunteers carry the load. It simply may be the event has run its course and it’s time for something new,"

What most people fail to realize, is that most of the events in Orillia are run by volunteers and not the City of Orillia. The Orillia Winter Carnival, The Santa Clause Parade, Canada Day, Civic Holiday Weekend, The Orillia Business Expo all for example are run by volunteers. In some cases, the City provides small grants but generally the volunteers are also responsible for funding the events. Local area businesses have been generous in the past but with so many organizations struggling to survive, donations are being spread thinner.

The Orillia Winter Carnival was first held in 1928. The current committee would like to thank all of the past sponsors and volunteers for their time and donations. All is not lost however, a group in Severn Township is hosting a carnival at ODAS Park on January 25 -27, 2019. The public is encouraged to attend and support this event.

The Orillia Winter Carnival Committee will meet again in January to determine next steps such as closing the not-for-profit in accordance with rules and regulations for not-for-profit organizations.

For more information:

Mark Earl

Co-Chair 2019 Orillia Winter Carnival