The annual Cape Breton Bike Fest: Thunder in the Highlands has been cancelled for this year, and organizers blame a lack of sponsorship and funding.
The notice on the website says it was cancelled due to “circumstances beyond our control.” The event was scheduled to run from Aug. 1 to Aug. 4.
Mary Tulle, CEO of Destination Cape Breton, says they've been trying to confirm marketing details for the festival since early this year.
“We had connected or attempted to connect with the organizers three or four times probably two and a half months ago to see if we could put the dates in and confirm it as an event,” she says.
Event pumped $5 million into local economy
Enterprise Cape Breton says it offered the group $30,000 this year, the same amount as the past two years.
The Cape Breton Regional Municipality says it also approved support, offering $2,500 in cash and several thousand dollars worth of in-kind support.
The Cape Breton Bike Fest received $100,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency in 2011 and $75,000 dollars in 2010.
This would have been the sixth year for the event, which last year attracted 10,000 bikers for three days of concerts, motorcycle safety courses and demonstrations. Organizers estimate the event pumped $5 million into the Cape Breton economy in 2013.
The event website describes the island-wide gathering as a cultural and historical celebration that draws bike enthusiasts from all over North America and Europe.
This year the festival was supposed to feature events like "Storm the Fortress of Louisbourg," and a visit to the Louisbourg Crab Fest.