Strings Attached • Seeking sponsors for WindFest: Toronto’s only waterfront kite festival!


(Note: are you looking for the Toronto WindFest website?  It’s here: www.windfest.to)

June 8 2010

As millions of litres of oil continues to flow into the Gulf of Mexico, we are painfully reminded of the need to shift our energy habits towards renewable sources that are clean and safe.  One of the most promising options for green energy is wind power.  Often, when I’m travelling with my band, we’ll pass through enormous wind farms in our van.  And each time I see a wind farm, whether in Europe or the US, I’m amazed at how beautiful they look and how far behind we are here in the Ontario.  Yes, new projects are in the works, but the pace is slow due to bureaucracy, NIMBYism and a powerful nuclear energy lobby.

As BP tries to curb the flow of the Deepwater Horizon, I’d like to invite you to help support a positive initiative right here in TO.  I’m working on an event to promote renewable energy, with a focus on wind power.  And what better way to celebrate wind energy than to fly a few hundred kites on the beach?

After inspecting over a dozen locations in Toronto, we’ve found the perfect site for a kite festival right on the waterfront.  We’ve already filed all of our paperwork, and we’ve got our permits lined up to host the first annual WindFest Kite Festival at Woodbine Beach on October 2nd 2010.  It’s got great wind with few trees or obstacles, great bike and transit access, washrooms, parking, etc.

The event takes care of two pressing issues in Toronto: the need for more green energy awareness and, more importantly, the need for a waterfront kite festival!  We’ll have hundreds of kites in the air, expert fliers, kite boarders on the lake, workshops for kids to make their own kites, free handout kites and more.

To make this event happen we’re seeking corporate sponsors who want to support green energy and be part of a fun community event!

Most of my readers know me as someone who has been quite vocal in my opposition to corporate sponsorship deals, from Toronto’s street furniture deal to Nuit Blanche.  But I’ve always maintained that the idea of sponsorship isn’t the problem, but rather the implementation: it can be done in an appropriate way that benefits all parties, or it can be mismanaged to the point where the sponsor benefits at the expense of the integrity of the event.

For WindFest, we’ve created some ground rules.  First, we won’t sell the naming rights (there will be no Toronto BP Kite Festival); we’ll retain complete control over the name of the event.  We’ll also be quite selective with whom we choose to partner.  We’ll be looking for companies that have a track record of contributing to green solutions in Toronto.  Companies like Bullfrog Power, AutoShare/Zipcar, Grassroots, MEC, etc.

Wind energy is a fascinating field that is just beginning to grow and evolve.  Beyond the huge turbines we see on wind farms (like our single turbine at the Ex), there are also new technologies being developed all the time to bring wind energy into urban environments with small-scale turbines of different shapes and sizes.

Mark the date! Saturday October 2nd.  This is guaranteed to be the beginning of an annual tradition on Toronto’s waterfront.

Are you interested in sponsoring WindFest? Click here for more information.

Update! Mountain Equipment Co-op has signed on as our first sponsor.  Thanks MEC!


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..Update! The Candadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is supporting WindFest as a Key Sponsor.  Thank you!


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Update! Toronto Hydro is on board as a sponsor.  Thank you!


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Update! The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) has joined as a sponsor.  Thanks!



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Update! Thank you to the Ontario Clean Air Alliance for supporting the kite festival!

Are you interested in sponsoring WindFest? Click here for more information.

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9 responses to “Strings Attached • Seeking sponsors for WindFest: Toronto’s only waterfront kite festival!

  1. We should talk. I’ve got the wind connections.

  2. WIND mobile?

  3. Great idea – it could really fly

  4. Hey Mez,

    Maybe you’ll be surprised to find out that there is a fairly promising technology on the horizon that use kites to generate power, rather than turbines mounted on towers. You can find a brief overview of the types of technologies (all still emerging) here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airborne_wind_turbine

    …and a list of companies trying to develop solutions here

    http://www.aweia.org/

    The only commercial use of kites for power that I’m aware of is… wait for it… pulling oil tankers accross the ocean! It actually is an awesome use as a sail, and advanced computer controls make it practical. The equivalent energy output from one of these giant sails pulling a tanker is about 4 times the peak production of the wind turbine at the ex. Go here for a link to the german company that sells these sail systems.

    http://www.skysails.info/index.php?id=472&L=2

  5. Typically, wind energy systems for homes include high-end point with five rotating blades against the wind. To what extent the wind towers should be in your home depends on factors such as relative wind speed in your area, a high tower to lower the wind speed and the area where the tower is shorter for more wind zones speed

  6. What a great event, beautiful, and nice to see people supporting clean energy.

  7. In advance of WindFest, I was wondering if anyone can recommend a store in the GTA to purchase a decent kite. Any suggestions are welcome.

  8. Hi Andy!

    Here’s a small list:
    http://windfest.to/bring-make-take-kite

    cheers,
    ~ dave

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