Survey on Open Air Weekends showcases 2023 successes


A survey has been completed on Open Air Weekends in Amherstburg, showcasing the successes of the event in 2023. 

Approximately 133,000 people attended over the 14-week span from June 2 to September 3.

In mid-August, Amherstburg council requested a survey be completed by visitors to the event, and surrounding businesses with an array of questions surrounding Open Air. Nearly 1,400 people completed the survey, which was received for information. 

Out of 813 participants who were surveyed, 41 per cent of them were visiting the event from outside of Amherstburg, 99 per cent of visitors would like to see the event return, and the event also demonstrated that it appealed to all age groups.

19 businesses who were in the footprint of Open Air were surveyed, where nearly 80 per cent of them took part in the weekends, 68 per cent say they benefited, and 84 per cent of the businesses received good feedback from customers. 10 businesses outside of the footprint were surveyed, which showed only 50 per cent liking the event, and only 20 per cent saying they benefited from Open Air. 

549 Talk the Burg respondents were surveyed, with nearly 78 per cent liking the footprint of the event, and 83 per cent wanting it to return next year.

Molly Allaire, Amherstburg councillor, says she was super pleased with the survey results, and council can see where improvements need to be made. 

"Every year its been tweaked so far since it has started, and it's only getting bigger and better, so that's great. I just think that everyone on council loves the event, no one wants to see it gone, everyone has stated that. They just want to see it perfected so that it's good for the residents, and for the businesses, not just one solo side."

Allaire says she has asked for the Open Air footprint to be sent to the Accessibility Committee for feedback on what can be improved, as some individuals in the survey expressed the event wasn't accessible enough.

"Just really shine on the areas that we're missing so that we can make it inclusive for everyone, and not just sit on the same story. We have to make it better every year, for everyone, not just who comes and visits. It has to be inclusive. So I really want to strive on making that a whole part of our whole town, not just a few people."

Chris Gibb, Amherstburg deputy mayor, says he loved the survey results, and was happy to see all age groups attended the event.

"You didn't find that there was just one group, it was a little bit of everything from the under 18's to the over 65's. That was very interesting. And also the percentage of people who attended from outside of Amherstburg, a little over 40 per cent weren't from Amherstburg, but 59 per cent were residents of Amherstburg, so very insightful."

Councillor Allaire has asked administration to send a report to the Accessibility Committee for feedback on what can be improved accessibility wise during the event, which was approved by council. 

The report is expected to come back to council prior to 2024 budget deliberations. 

This survey was one of the most answered survey's that has been run in the Town.