Thursday, April 07, 2011

Toronto Freedom Festival to Return to Queen's Park

TORONTO, April 7 /CNW/ - After numerous meetings with City of Toronto and Park officials, the Toronto Freedom Festival 's organizers were elated today to receive their permit to use Queen's Park North on Saturday May 7th.

The Toronto Freedom Festival is Toronto's largest FREE, one-day, outdoor spring festival, attracting upwards of 30, 000 people. Festival organizers learned in January that their permit to occupy the park had been revoked by Toronto and East York District Parks. Initially this news came as a surprise to organizers, and several months later, a working plan with the City has been reached to keep the Festival at Queen's Park North for another year. The plan has been designed to appease the concerns of City and Park officials, community stakeholders, and those raised by the Global Marijuana March who rely heavily on the festival's infrastructure for their participants.

Toronto Freedom Festival co-founder Gabe Simms states "We've always believed it was best to work with the City to address concerns rather than being in opposition to them. We are excited to have been able to reach a safe and reasonable compromise, and we remain committed to once again producing an unique, safe and exciting festival behind the very symbolic provincial legislature."

While organizers are pleased with the results of their collaborated efforts with the City, they recognize that the impetus for change could not have occurred without the voice of Tommy Chong and other Festival supporters. Now the 'Friends of Freedom' will be called upon to help the Festival meet the increased demands.  "We are very excited at the recent news and hope festival supporters will contribute and spread the word, volunteer, or give a donation to help us with the demands associated with hosting the expected massive crowd," Festival co-founder Gavin Gerbz states.

The Global Marijuana March is the flagship event of The Toronto Freedom Festival. Toronto's march component, which is part parade and part protest, is the world's largest. March Organizer Neev states, "The march has been free of violence and arrests for last 12 years and we are dedicated to keep it that way. We are very happy to have the Freedom Festival's essential infrastructure such as washrooms, food, water, Marshals and cleaners."  The 13th Global Marijuana March will gather at the Toronto Freedom Festival on the North side of Queen's Park North at noon taking off at 2pm. The 5th Toronto Freedom Festival runs from noon to 8pm and is FREE to attend. RAIN or SHINE.



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