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Popular Metro Vancouver free summer festival faces dramatic cut backs

One of the Metro Vancouver region's popular summertime music, food, and culture events could be basically slashed beyond recognition.
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 The two-day Richmond World Festival, which draws talent and fans to its mainstage, could be cut down to a one-day event with no mainstage music show. Photo: Photo: Richmond World Festival / Facebook

The late summer World Festival in Minoru Park might have its budget cut in half in 2020, have its Mainstage events cancelled and be reduced to a one-day event.

The World Festival has featured big names like Bedouin Soundclash and The Strumbellas this year, and Lights and Magic! in 2018.

The city estimates 60,000 people attended the two-day festival this past Labour Day weekend.

An evaluation of the Mainstage performances stated they were high quality and attracted a “niche audience,” however, showcasing cultural diversity could be done without this large expense and it wouldn’t have an impact on the general visitor experience at the World Festival.

The event had other stages besides the main stage and smaller venues with performances like Chinese opera.

Staff is recommending the city’s major events overall budget be reduced by a total of $340,000.

The budget last year was $1.345 million, and, if council approves the changes, this would be reduced to $1.04 million.

Other proposed cuts are to Steveston Salmon Festival, which would see its $250,000 budget reduced by $25,000 and the Richmond Maritime Festival budget reduced by $50,000 to $250,000.