City calls for vendors to work 2024 events

By Sandi Krasowski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Chronicle-Journal

The City of Thunder Bay has lined up an exciting list of events for 2024 and is calling for food and entertainment vendors, buskers, street performers, artisans and community groups to sign up and participate.

The 2024 lineup of events has more than a dozen dates and includes the Live on the Waterfront event series.

Karen Kadolph, the City’s special event developer, said when vendors participate in city occasions, they contribute to an enhanced event experience and festive atmosphere by offering culturally diverse and engaging activities and opportunities,

“We’re always looking for new opportunities to bring to our pre-existing events and we’re always looking to make every event bigger, better and different,” she said, adding face painters, balloon artistry, temporary tattoo artists, and a variety of other captivating, family-friendly offerings are encouraged to apply.

“It’s a great reflection of our communities and that’s why these calls are really important. It gives people in the community an opportunity to say, ‘Hey, I’ve got this really cool skill and I’d like to be involved.’ That’s how we find out about these people.”

Kadolph said participation in the events also promotes individual (vendor) businesses and performers and boosts tourism as well. 

“Sometimes we are looking to commission different people to do work for us and sometimes we’re looking for someone because we have an opportunity,” she said. “It’s an way for us to learn more about everything available to us so that we can bring those to the community as well as promote our events on the Thunder Bay events calendar, which also goes on the tourism calendar.”

Kadolph pointed out that there are fees payable to the City to operate at the events and the range in price depends on the event and the type of vendor. 

“Artisans fees are a little less than a food truck because the truck has a different opportunity for (profit) than say an artisan would,” she said. “It also depends on what type of event it is and what kind of potential revenue for those people would be as well. We try to take that into account.”

This year, Quest: Tech & Gaming will return to the Fort William Gardens on May 10-11 with opportunities to explore the different sciences, technologies, engineering, arts and math with interactive, hands-on activities. 

“This year we are looking to make it even bigger and trying to make it so that it’s something for everyone,” she said. “We know that kids love technology and adults and seniors do too, and it’s a great opportunity for everybody to learn about those things.”

The Kite Festival will return to Chippewa Park on June 9 and Canada Day celebrations will take place at Marina Park on July 1. 

Kadolph said the Teddy Bears Picnic, which will take place on June 9, is one of the city’s longest-running events that will again take place in Vickers Park — which is one of the oldest parks in Thunder Bay. 

“They fit nicely together,” she said. 

Live on the Waterfront will take place on Wednesday evenings at Marina Park from July 17 to Aug. 21 with the Summer Sendoff on Aug. 28-29.

The season will wind down with Culture Days from Sept. 20 through Oct. 13 and plans are still in the works. 

All events are free to the public. The deadline for applications is Feb. 29. Visit ThunderBay.ca/events for more information and application forms.