Sunfest ready to unveil ‘Celebration of Life’ at London’s Victoria Park – London

The stage in Victoria Park is almost complete as the crews prepare the downtown green space for Sunfest.

Sunfest, recognized as London, Ontario’s premier summer festival, returns in person on Thursday for a four-day “celebration of life” that will be attended by more than 40 national and international music ensembles.

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TD Sunfest returns for an in-person event in London, Ontario.

“This is so exciting after practically not making it for two and a half years,” said Sunfest Founder and Co-Artistic Director Alfredo Caxaj.

“At this point, I really think the whole community is so excited that people are dying to go out and really celebrate life, because that’s it: it’s a celebration of life.”

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Caxaj spoke to Global News on Wednesday as he and an army of volunteers made last-minute preparations in Victoria Park.

“It’s almost like restarting the whole process, it’s been a very challenging year for sure,” said Caxaj.

Artistic Director of the Sunfest Alfredo Caxaj.

Andrew Graham / Global News

Air travel proved to be one of the biggest hurdles for Sunfest this year, as international acts have faced the same issues that have plagued Canadian airports and airlines over the past few days.

“We keep changing the (list) because the flights are delayed or cancelled,” Caxaj said.

There’s also the problem of obtaining visas for artists, which Caxaj says is taking even longer than before.

“Now it doesn’t matter if you applied three months in advance, apparently now you have to apply six months in advance and that makes things really complicated for artists,” Caxaj said, adding that some are local MPs stepped in to help with visa issues.

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“Hopefully from now until the weekend any group that (doesn’t arrive yet) will make it on time, but that’s really out of our control.”

Another factor beyond the organizers’ control is the weather, but Caxaj is grateful to have clear skies, warm days and cool nights on the horizon for Sunfest.

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Vendors fired for the restriction-free summer festival season in London, Ontario.

Although we only found out earlier this year that Sunfest would be able to take place in person, this year promises to be one of the biggest lineups ever, featuring a variety of genres with artists from around the world.

More than 225 exhibitors from the fields of food, handicrafts and fine arts will also be available.

“We’re so proud of the number of visitors, we’re so proud of the incredible artistic cast we have, but the most important thing is the social impact of the festival,” said Caxaj.

“When you see people of all cultures, different backgrounds, social and economic status come together and celebrate, there is nothing more beautiful.”

The first performances at Sunfest are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday. The full lineup is available on the Sunfest website.

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The festival takes place from Thursday to Sunday and admission is free.

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Big in-person events return to Toronto

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© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Sunfest ready to unveil ‘Celebration of Life’ at London’s Victoria Park – London


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