Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam manages to save Afrofest at Queen’s Park, at least for this year

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam manages to save Afrofest at Queen’s Park, at least for this year

Toumani Diabaté plays at Afrofest (Image: jbach) 

Last week, it looked like Afrofest and Freedom Festival were both going to get kicked out of Queen’s Park for serial noise and clean-up violations. Less than seven days later, it looks like they’re safe for now. Newbie councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, fresh from being denied a mayoral apology when she asked Rob Ford to repent for saying there was too much garbage at city hall, seems to have managed to save both festivals’ slots at Queen’s Park for this year. But in 2012, they’re being nixed for real.

According to the Toronto Star:

Wong-Tam said Friday the meetings instead produced the option of the 23-year-old Afrofest and five-year-old Freedom Festival submitting revised applications for downsized festivals at Queen’s Park north—with the understanding both will move starting next year.

“Both have three stages and many vendors—Afrofest has 115—and so we’ve told them if they reduce that, if they can scale back this year, we’ll take another look at the applications,” said Wong-Tam.

“That’s the compromise — another year of soil compaction, knowing there will be renovations in the park in 2012 so festivals will have to go elsewhere and the grass and the trees will get a breather.”

Afrofest may also be allowed to have Toronto Police close some of the road around Queen’s Park—something, the Star notes, the police are unwilling to do for the pot-loving Freedom Fest. Funny what does and does not make the police so scrupulous about breaking the law around Queen’s Park.

Afrofest, Freedom Fest thrown a lifeline [Toronto Star]