Future of Collingwood Elvis Festival uncertain after council ends town management

Elvis tribute artist Ed Butski, of St. Catharines, Ont., is pictured in the foyer at the Gayety Theatre before performing in the qualifying rounds at the Collingwood Elvis Festival in Collingwood, Ont., on Friday, July 22, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

This summer might be your last chance to attend the Collingwood Elvis Festival.

On Monday, town council voted to discontinue operating the event.

In a release, the city noted a decline in attendance and economic impact as the main reasons to put an end to funding the annual event.

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Five years ago, weekend attendance at the festival reached a peak of 29,400 people, including Priscilla Presley, according to numbers provided by a town spokesperson. A year ago, attendance had dwindled to just 14,555.

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The Collingwood Elvis Festival will go on as scheduled this summer as it marks its 25th anniversary.

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Originally organized by an Elvis Presley impersonator, the initial event was held at a local resort. It is now billed as the “world’s largest Elvis festival.”

Private operators have expressed interest in running the show going forward, but council has asked town staff to look into the best way to handle management of the festival before proceeding.

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