PEI

Fall Flavours Festival planning for a comeback this autumn

The Fall Flavours Festival plans to return this autumn as COVID-19 restrictions ease up in the province.

'We’re cautiously optimistic that it will be to a point where we were in 2019'

Schedules for events would be released in the coming weeks. (Jane Adey/CBC)

The Fall Flavours Festival plans to return this autumn as COVID-19 restrictions ease up in the province.

Food Island Partnership P.E.I. plans to begin the annual festival on Sep. 12. The festival couldn't be held in its regular format in 2020 because of COVID-19, and instead encouraged people to uplift the Island's fishing, farming and restaurant industries in many ways. 

Kent Thompson, the group's director of finance and food tourism, said the company is excited but cautious in planning events. 

"[We're] definitely excited and really wanting to get back to where we were in 2019, but also understanding that things may not go exactly as planned," he said. "We're cautiously optimistic that it will be to a point where we were in 2019."

The festival is returning later than usual in hopes of attracting a bigger crowd and more tourists, Thompson said.

"We would love to be able to see more people from Ontario and Quebec. They're normally our number one and two market, so we do want to make sure that it's possible they can arrive and they can take part."

Planning began since April.1 

The group began event planning in April, with hopes of restrictions continuing to ease on P.E.I. — and Thompson said they plan to feature more musicians and Atlantic chefs in this year's festival.

"Knowing a lot of musicians haven't been active enough in a public setting in the last year, we're trying to bring in more music as well," he said.

"This year we're going to spotlight more Atlantic Canadian chefs, and then just have a couple of chefs come in from outside the region if restrictions allow us."

Schedules for events would be released in the coming weeks, Thompson said.

"As vaccinations go up, and the borders start to open and restrictions start to go down, that's when you see us coming out with a schedule," he said.

Food Island Partnership hopes to keep the festival going into Thanksgiving. 

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Angela Walker

now