News / Halifax

Vendor shocked to learn of Halifax multicultural festival's financial woes

The Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia ordered to pay more than $26,500 in outstanding debts, meaning this year's festival has been canned.

A girl dances at last year's Multicultural Festival.

Metro file

A girl dances at last year's Multicultural Festival.

For the past four years, Ingrid Dunsworth, also known as the Cake Lady, enjoyed providing her German treats during Halifax’s annual multicultural festival.

She was shocked when CBC Nova Scotia contacted her over the weekend to get her view on the fact the 32-year-old event wasn’t happening this year. It had been scheduled to take place on the Halifax waterfront the weekend of June 17.

On Monday, CBC reported the Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia (MANS) has been ordered to pay more than $26,500 in outstanding debts that date back to the 2014 festival.

Dunsworth said she had no clue the festival was in jeopardy, and that organizers took her cheque and had her sign a contract in February to hold her place for this year’s event.

“It was a cheque for just over $1,000 I gave in February and there was no indication given to me whatsoever that there was a problem,” Dunsworth said.

“I’m in the midst of organizing, ordering my materials, getting people together. The logistics behind this is a big deal.”

Dunsworth said she has since learned the festival’s financial woes date back years. 

“I am very shocked now that I know the whole story,” she said.

“I think there should be a new structure built more through volunteer work and not just people employed. Obviously there was an accounting problem.”

Other vendors told CBC they had also paid deposits for this year's festival and weren't informed it had been cancelled.

Attempts on Monday to reach out to the Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia’s executive director Mohamed Ifthikhar Illyas and to the association’s communications person via email were unsuccessful.

Calling the association’s phone number resulted in a fast busy signal.

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