Stratford Celebrates Richard Manuel

    McGuinty Government Supporting Summer Festivals Across Ontario

    TORONTO, July 21 /CNW/ -


    The rich musical legacy of Stratford-born Richard Manuel will be
celebrated on August 4 as part of the Stratford Summer Music Festival.
    Manuel ( rose to
international fame as a member of the rock group, The Band
(, in the 1960s. He died in 1986 at the
age of 42.
    The event will include live performances by various artists
(, including the
legendary Ronnie Hawkins (, who first hired
Manuel to play with his band, The Hawks, in 1961.
    The Ontario government is providing $74,118 in Celebrate Ontario funding
to support the Stratford Music festival and the Richard Manuel tribute.
    Summer festivals and events across Ontario generate millions of dollars
for the provincial economy. The government has provided $10 million through
the Celebrate Ontario program to support the development and marketing of
festivals and events, more than double the funding provided in 2007.


    "The Stratford Summer Music Festival has brought a new dimension to the
Stratford experience over the past seven years, placing the town of Stratford
itself in the limelight," said John Wilkinson, MPP for Perth-Wellington, on
behalf of Tourism Minister Peter Fonseca. "The new features being added to the
Festival's roster this year are bound to create a lot of buzz, and that's good
for Stratford's economy, sense of community, and future prospects."
    "We're honoured and delighted to be part of the Celebrate Ontario
initiative this year," said John Miller, Stratford Summer Music's Artistic
Producer. "And we think it's particularly appropriate that our program will
welcome thousands of people to enjoy music by terrific musicians from Ontario
on the very day we all celebrate this great province - Monday, August 4!"


    -  The 8th annual Stratford Summer Music Festival runs from July 21 to
       August 17, and features over 85 performances over that period

    -  The Celebrate Ontario initiative was launched in December 2006 to
       boost tourism in the province by helping festivals and events across
       Ontario to enhance their products with new experiences that lead to
       long-term improvements to attract greater audiences.

    -  In December 2007, the government announced that it would build on this
       success by more than doubling funding for the Celebrate Ontario 2008
       initiative to $10 million and by expanding it to include new festivals
       and events.


    Find out more about the Stratford Summer Music Festival

    Discover other things to do in Ontario this summer

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Alicia Farrow, Minister's Office, (416)
325-4543; Jill Skorochod, Communications Branch, (416) 325-8391

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