Capital Hoedown finds venue, loses deposit

Capital Hoedown organizers found a new home for the Ottawa country music festival to replace Walter Baker Park, but lost their deposit on the park after Revenue Canada claimed the money.
Capital Hoedown organizers say the festival lives with its new home at an Ottawa ranch. 2:08

Capital Hoedown organizers have found a new home for the Ottawa country music festival at a ranch on Fallowfield Road in Stittsville.

Concert International Inc. said it has chosen the Numech Ranch at 6930 Fallowfield Road to replace last year's venue, Walter Baker Park in Kanata.

Organizers had been looking for a new location for the Aug. 10 to 12 festival since the City of Ottawa cancelled its deal with the festival and denied it access to the park after Hoedown organizers failed to pay $150,000 to rent the venue.

The city was set to return a $72,000 deposit to Hoedown organizers, but in another blow for the festival, Revenue Canada has stepped in and claimed first rights to the money.

"We were advised by Revenue Canada by way of a letter that through the Excise Act that they would require us to surrender the money to them," said Councillor Mark Taylor.

"We are under obligation to surrender the money to CRA, which is what we are doing," said Taylor.

Organization dissolved

Denis Benoit, President and CEO of Capital Hoedown, said the dissolution of the former partnership for the festival led to a delay in filing with CRA in 2011, and said the festival was in contact with the agency to meet their obligation.

"Since this is associated to Capital Hoedown 2011, this does not affect our ability to continue with plans for this year's festival," he said in a statement.

Revamped lineup still in works

The securing of a venue was one part of what festival organizers called the "restructuring" needed to ensure the event remained viable.

For concert ticket holders, the larger question remaining is which performers will take the stage.

A number of high-profile performers including Reba McEntire, Terri Clark and Sheryl Crow, were scheduled to play, but won't.

Headliner Taylor Swift has also removed the concert date from her touring schedule.

Festival organizers have said refunds will be available beginning June 19, after the majority of the lineup will have been announced.