Goulet Motosport’s Hawkesbury Bike Fest can’t help but be a hot topic.

Last year, for its 3rd edition, Bike Fest entertained over 20,000 people.

This year is a rather special case because the fourth edition of Bike Fest isn’t even upon us and for weeks, people have been discussing it.

It all started when, a few months back, news of Bike Fest’s cancellation for 2018 exploded in the local news and on social media.

According to Yves Charlebois, Goulet Motosport Sales Rep and one of Bike Fest’s organizers, the 2017 edition (despite being a resounding success) only managed to break even, financially.

“To be clear, the goal of Bike Fest isn’t to make money… but losing money can’t be an option either,” said Charlebois.

“If Goulet Motosport invests tens of thousands of dollars in the event and we end up losing it because of rain, that’s all folks.”

To prevent this, Bike Fest organizers tried to obtain financing through grants. Sadly, the solicited government entity declined, stating “too many applicants” as the reason for their refusal.

Even before Bike Fest became the phenomenon it is today, Goulet Motosport organized events that also doubled as fundraisers. In five years, they managed to raise $108,000 for the HGH Foundation.

Jump starting the 4th edition

News of Bike Fest’s cancellation spread like wildfire.

According to Charlebois, feedback was so intense that organizers couldn’t help but give the whole thing another go.

“We gave ourselves two weeks to find a bunch of local sponsors. What really helped us gain momentum is the Town of Hawkesbury’s contribution. They offered to pay for our emergency services, police and firefighters, during the event. It’s a huge help, since that amounts at roughly $10,000.”

In terms of local businesses, the event found itself a new, major sponsor with Caisse Populaire de Hawkesbury.

The COMZAC-BIA also joined the list of sponsors, alongside many anonymous donors. Indeed, Bike Fest’s reputation has grown so much in the past few years that a group of 100 bikers from Thunder Bay, recurring Bike Fest visitors, sent $2,000 to help this year’s edition.

More sponsors wanted

“We haven’t yet reached the full amount we need to produce the event, but we managed to gain enough support to kickstart the process,” said Charlebois.

Currently, Bike Fest organizers are running an aggressive recruitment and financing campaign with the hope of getting new sponsors and volunteers.

Charlebois stated that Bike Fest is open to giving new, major sponsors various perks.

Anyone interested is sponsoring the event or volunteering can contact Yves Charlebois at Goulet Motosport (613 632-3462 or [email protected]).

The 4th edition of Bike Fest will take place on August 30, 31 and September 1st, 2018. The festival grounds will surround Main Street between John and McGill. The event will feature games, music, shops, food and anything worthwhile related to the motorcycle culture.