The March 11th decision revoking the special events permit for Music Africa (MA) to host its annual Afrofest in Queen’s Park this summer was reversed late last month.
Although the city maintained that its main concerns had been for the welfare of the park, now beginning to show effects of the tens of thousands of summer visitors drawn in every year, other reasons for the city’s initial included parking and music violations, garbage and failure to clean up.
MA president Michael Stohr upheld that vehicles were only on turf for event setup or take down and that music never continued past 11 pm. With the support of MA members, Stohr came to a compromise alongside Toronto Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and other City departments. came to an effective compromise that will allow the23 year old tradition to continue as planned.
Many of the event’s vendors and performers had been secured for the season when city officials made their earlier retraction, estimating the near 50,000 patrons expected this summer to increase the already present levels of soil compaction damaging to older roots. This and the city’s plans to renovate in 2012 may have influenced the MA’s decision to seek an alternate site for next year.
For MA, a location in the heart of the city is not only essential but synonymous with their mission. Founded in the early 90’s, Music Africa is a non-profit organization whose main objective is to promote African music through Afrofest and other cultural events.
Afrofest will take place this July 9th -11th at Queens Park in downtown Toronto.