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Hay River summer festival postponed till 2021

One of Hay River's summer festivals has been postponed till 2021.

The Hay Days Festival is a five-day arts and music festival during the first week of July

The Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise, said the Hay Days Festival had to be postponed until 2021. (Emily Blake/CBC)

One of Hay River's summer festivals has been postponed till 2021.

The Hay Days Festival is a five-day "music, arts and culture festival" that takes place on Great Slave Lake on the first week of July, according to the festival's official website. The festival normally includes art workshops for children, showcases over 70 musicians from across the N.W.T and 15 artists at several markets throughout the week. The week is capped off with the 'Saturday Night Shaker' beach party. 

The Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise took over the festival's operations in 2017. Since then, the festival has been run by five members on the club's board of directors and operates with a $160,000 budget. 

Lee Cawson, treasurer of the rotary club, told the CBC the problems started when three of the five board members had to step away from planning this year's festival due to personal or other volunteer obligations. 

Lee Cawson, treasurer of the Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise, said the Hay Days Festival had to be postponed until 2021 so they could find more volunteer board members to help organize the festival. (Anna Desmarais/CBC)

All but one of the people involved with planning the festival are volunteers.

That's when the executive decided it was better to postpone until 2021. 

We didn't want to put on a bad festival.- Lee Cawson, treasurer, Rotary Club of Hay River Sunrise 

"It takes a long time to get people up to speed ... we just had to leave it for this year," Cawson said.

The Rotary Club said in a press release that 2021 also coincides with the 10th year of the festival and the club wants to take the time to plan a slate of "diverse and high quality" events for this "milestone celebration." 

The dates for next year's festival have tentatively been set for July 6-10, 2021.

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