Where did the Balloons Go? 2013 Cornwall Kinsmen Lift Off Launches from Avonmore – Roy Nichol comes home with April Wine!

Where did the Balloons Go?  2013 Cornwall Kinsmen Lift Off Launches from Avonmore – Roy Nichol comes home with April Wine!
CFN Baloon
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CFNAvonmore Kinsmen Cornwall Lift Off 2013 was marred as it was a balloon festival without many balloons.

For reasons unconfirmed (the buzz was US customs which didn’t make much sense) most of the balloons launched from distant Avonmore Ontario  instead of Cornwall or even nearby St. Andrews.

The traditional sky filled with colourful bilious spheres was not to be seen.

lift off 2012

There were the traditional complaints about the entertainment; the rides cost children too much; the headlines bands weren’t that great, the grounds were still soaking and full of goose poop; but there were some  steps forward this year.

Lift Off decided to not spend money on secondary acts and instead fill their musical lineup with local bands including even allowing cover bands to appear on stage.

And apparently in a first they actually paid local bands!

Local band Booze Hound!

With perfect weather though attendance was estimated at 3-5,000 per day with no estimates coming in over the 10K mark for a single day.

With a free admission event coming up in a few weeks we read comment after comment about Lift Off by people who simply didn’t think it made sense to pay $25 per day admission when the other event  would be free.  There aren’t that many vegetarians in Cornwall.

The biggest flaw with Lift Off is the “Volunteer Board” not to be confused with the hundreds of amazing volunteers that do the heavy lifting for the event.

And the control of Lift Off by city officials like Economic  non Development like Bob Peters.

Lift Off has to decide if it’s a tourism event meant to draw people in from all over or a local Summer celebration.   Lou Gramm from Foreigner really didn’t fit the bill of either and frankly it’s a competitive market and Cornwall has to compete with nearby Montreal and Ottawa.    Even the nearby Franklin County Fair in little Malone NY has country star Vince Gill and the Little River Band playing.

And Lift Off finally did diversify by having Country music Saturday night instead of just playing the usual Corus radio station format bands.

With attendance numbers down over 50% since 2010 it just might be time for a good review and housecleaning and for the organization to realize that to earn community support you have to be inclusive, and you have to be professional.  Nobody wants to team up with a mess.

While many are suggesting that the days of Lift Off may be over this scribbler is hoping that a miracle happens and that smarter, wiser, minds prevail, and with some new blood and leadership Cornwall Ontario can have a true Summer event worthy of its great people.

photo courtesy of Linda Rolland
photo courtesy of Linda Rolland

The highlight for many this Lift Off was the return of fan fave and Legendary Canadian Rockers April Wine which now has even more meaning in Cornwall since drummer Jerry Mercer has been replaced by Roy Nichol of Cornwall!

It’s time for Lift Off to launch to the next level.  Hopefully it can happen as the great people and volunteers of Cornwall deserve it!

And they definitely need a new website design team as it was terribly slow and not terribly well designed.

Did you go to Lift Off?  Post your thoughts and comments why you did or didn’t below.

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What??SusanWhat???Hungry for the Truth....Gary W. Samler Recent comment authors

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Jenn
Guest
Jenn

I did attend all days of lift off and I thought it wasn’t too bad….but there was one incident happend….I had a 10 yr old watching down with Webster and you have grown adults pushing and shoving kids…. That’s sad… U have no safety for kids or anyone. It seems a Lil odd to me. Ill have to think will it be safe for me to attend with my daughter….

cornwalllaughter
Guest
cornwalllaughter

Economic non Development Bob Peters, no more needed to be said. Wait there is, Holy Gilles Latour, lets promote ourselves boys and next year, instead of lift-off we call it takeoff?

cornwalllaughter
Guest
cornwalllaughter

If for just once these two would step aside and let new ideas, new people step in, maybe, just maybe things will progress but with people who have to be in every picture to make their lives feel complete, nothing will change and things will continue to flop. The only way one could leave the picture is, if maybe, just maybe another prostitute is bought on a city credit card. Fitzy is not here to save his skin this time.

copykat
Guest
copykat

Lets see if this so called fine city could do anything without a BEER TENT than maybe more people would go and enjoy themselves,Canada Day = beer tent Lift off = beer tent can we not do anything without drinking?

fedup
Member
fedup

Went one evening on Friday, looking for Lift Off, but there was nothing to see, so we left off.

jules
Guest
jules

Cornwall laughter it will be “take off for sure” meaning “take off with Cornwall’s loot” like what Willie Wise did to his investors. Maybe they mighty use some of those balloons to go “Up Up And Away in My Beautiful Balloon” as the old 60’s song went.

With Holy Gilles Latour you can say Holy Cow what a {MODERATED} just like the rest of the gang.

They all have to go and Cornwall needs a mighty good cleanup. Take out the brooms and the mops and get rid of them completely.

Bill. Parisien
Guest
Bill. Parisien

Went to Friday night’s concert & for one reason only, to see Lou Gramm of Foreigner fame. I thoroughly enjoyed the concert and was thrilled to see him, for a mere $20.00 !
Thank-you, to all the volunteers……

boycott the system
Guest
boycott the system

I personally did not attend this year as I have in the past. I would say from the reviews I heard was not good at all. Too expensive for your average, normal people to pay $25.00 per event and that is just for the shows. This doesn’t include the $32.00 for rides (bracelet) and had same ole rides and some of the good ones they did have were down. Total rip off. Don’t get me started on the actual Lift-Off air balloons either!!! Suppose to be Cornwall Lift-Off!?! What a load of crap!! One of my friends said they were… Read more »

George
Guest
George

This Editor obviously doesn’t come out of his house much if he’s complaining to buy a 25$ ticket to a Canadian Legend Country singer, obviously the Lou guy wasn’t the best and Down With Webster sounded terrible live.. Where do you go to a big concert paying less then 25$? if Dean Broady performed in Ottawa or Montreal the tickets would be 75$ and people are complaining about a simple 20 and 5 dollar bill.. Yes the ribfest is nice because it has free entertainment but look at the difference between the musical acts; Lift-Off= Juno nominee, MMVA winner Down… Read more »

boycott the system
Guest
boycott the system

George, Sadly, just so you know we are not Ottawa or Montreal here, this is Cornwall. Maybe if our government stopped wasting our taxpayers money on their cover ups and bs then maybe we would as citizens enjoy things a lot better in our home town!! Fact is, due to the City’s affecting more and more of the low income class people too by their so-called cutbacks cause of their so-called corruption, that they are now suffering more than ever!!! They claim to want to help but it’s a load of you know what!! Put their money where their mouths… Read more »

Devon
Guest
Devon

I missed one thing at Lift Off..and that’s you Jamie..would have loved to listen to all the old Foreigner tunes having a couple of beer with Jamie Gilcig. I’m sure that we would have had a blast.

Gary Davies
Guest
Gary Davies

I want to tell you that this year was a dud. The event should consider changing it’s name to “Cornwall Festival” not to encourage people to visit Cornwall for a Balloon Festival While I understand wind conditions dictate flying but – Avonmore Really !! How can people get there when it is promoted as a Cornwall event. Again the music is good for some people because that’s what they want and the kids zone for families, however the Balloons are the attractions promoted. When we asked how we are supposed to see the Balloons many replies were in FRENCH –… Read more »

stellabystarlight
Guest
stellabystarlight

Gary wrote: When we asked how we are supposed to see the Balloons many replies were in FRENCH – strange I thought we were in Ontario and people spoke English here.

People speak both official languages here, French and English.

Many replies were in French, but not all which proves we speak both.

bbq_kevin
Guest
bbq_kevin

First and foremost, this a balloon festival , and not a music festival. Second. A lot of people just go for the Balloons. So the Lift off board has to fix how information is put out. Don’t say follow twiter/facebook/radio and NOT put any info out. That was very badly done this year. And before I get swarmed on here, I know the location can change, BUT LET ME KNOW SO I CAN FOLLOW!!! That is all I ask. Third. When you do put info on fb or twitter, make sure it is correct. There was a lot of misinformation… Read more »

Stan
Member
Stan

If you think they organize the Lift-Off for the citizens, you are wrong. They organize it for themselves to make money……where do you think all those hundreds-of-thousands of dollars go? With no accountability anything can happen! Comment on that Mr.G.

bbq_kevin
Guest
bbq_kevin

Now you have me scratching my head. It sounds like Avonmore was set up after Thursday night. If so, why did they not just come out and say that? Now that leaves more questions. If it was preplanned, the board has a lot of explaining to do. They could have avoided a lot of confusion, and just said that the launches will take place in Avonmore. But that also makes it look like they wanted the people at the park, instead of the balloon launches. Hmmm. I hope they realize that some people go back to the park after the… Read more »

garywsamler
Member
garywsamler

Did not go to Rip-off fest this year, Did not go last year and probably won’t go next year. Sitting in my back yard enjoying the sun listening to the music I like on CD enjoying a few cool pops and no crowds or foolish cost to support the clique. Priceless… Ribfest is another story.

Hungry for the Truth....
Guest
Hungry for the Truth....

@Admin

Jamie is it just me, or could the whole board of OFF’S be
Trolling the sight?

I’ve never seen you get votes that low before.
“George” must be the “VOICE”+8 come on?

Got to go now, my Sand box is waiting.

Or maybe Mac AND the cronies SN?

What???
Guest
What???

The story I got while talking to one of the balloon pilots was that this year the US was demanding a manifest of who was in the Balloon potentially going across the border 24 hours in advance. The pilot said that wasn’t possible because there could be last minute changes to the passengers and you can’t even know which pilot will be flying the balloon the next day. He says A balloon crossed Thursday night and customs gave them a hard time. Even said “If you guys do this again this weekend you will be charged.” Is that actually what… Read more »

Susan
Guest
Susan

I moved to this town 2 years ago and never in my life have I seen a more opinionated complaining people. If you all have so much input on this festival- next time get off your lawn chair and volunteer. I paid the $50 and attended the entire weekend, and had the best time! Sure some acts were better than others, but that how it is, people have different tastes and the organizers clearly attempted to try to get something for everyone. The cost works out to $12.5 per day!!! That is amazing!!!! I am sure they would love to… Read more »

Devon
Guest
Devon

Stan..whatever money is made I BELIEVE goes to Kinsmen (local charity sponser of the event) Jamie..decide not to go to Lift Off in fear of possibly causing a scene? Are you not the same fella that required 9 police officers to escort out of a city council meeting? C’mon..worried about Latour and a couple of commissionnaires? If not attend as a music lover, attend Lift Off as a journalist or critic. If someone tells me not to go to eat at a certain restaurant because the food sucks, I take their word that they have tasted the food for themselves… Read more »

Devon
Guest
Devon

Point taken and processed…I was with a few friends who just wanted to have a drink and shoot the shit with you Jamie. Maybe another time.

What??
Guest
What??

Susan says: “Perhaps people need to stop complaining and ACT- decide now you will volunteer and make it the best festival ever to promote your city and stop trying to tear it down!” Yeah sure, going over there volunteering and being tasked with picking up cigarette butts is really gonna make the difference. It’s already been pointed out that the few people in charge of this thing are not willing to let anyone else get in on the organizing. Some people loved it. That’s awesome. Others see ways it could be improved and it’s their right to talk about it.

Hungry for the Truth....
Guest
Hungry for the Truth....

@Susan July 16, 2013 at 5:03 am First, Let me take this opportunity to welcome you to Cornwall, and hope that your Optimism for Cornwall becomes infectious, and can help this little Beauty of a City, affect change that will enable it’s Citizens to ACT. “volunteer and make it the best festival ever to promote your city and stop trying to tear it down!” As the Editor of CFN, Cornwall’s most read Local News Forum has stated, “If you’re not inbred into the little group you’re viewed as hostile except for the most fringe of roles.” And I’m convinced much… Read more »