We have some news to share, and it’s Wonderfully Terrifically Fantastic! Last year’s WTF Festival in Sault Ste. Marie was recognized this week by Festivals & Events Ontario. The inaugural event, which was held in June at various local venues, was named Best New Festival for 2018.
The WTF Festival – a.k.a. Way Too Funny, a.k.a. Warning: Too Funny – was developed by Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, a division of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. The organization’s goal was to establish a major event to attract visitors between the end of the Searchmont ski season and the start of the busy Agawa Canyon Tour Train season.
“We reached our visitor-attraction goal, and it’s great to now see our WTF Festival recognized on the provincial stage,” said Alana Kenopic, Manager of Sport Tourism & Special Events for the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “I thank the 2018 WTF organizing committee – in particular, Tim Progosh and Tim Murphy – for all their work. I also thank our funding partners: the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, Destination Northern Ontario and the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund.”
The 2018 WTF Festival featured a Russell Peters headline comedy show, Dave Broadfoot Awards, variety show, Murder on the Agawa Express comedy murder mystery, late-night shows and a laughter yoga session. Total attendance at all the events combined was 3,735. The festival attracted just under 500 visitors from across Ontario and the United States, which generated more than $84,000 of direct visitor spending for the local economy, along with thousands of more dollars in spinoff and indirect commercial activity.
The Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation is currently planning its 2019 WTF Festival, which is scheduled this June 6 to 9 at several local venues. Details on headline acts and other performances will be released in the coming weeks at www.wtffestival.ca.