What Happened to Festival Arcadia?

By Paul Hunter

For the last four years Montreal has played host to one of the largest gaming events in the country -- Festival Arcadia.

The festival, which traditionally takes place in early November, has been one of the most recognizable public event celebrating video game culture in Canada. In 2008, more than 25,000 video game enthusiasts attended.

While the popularity of Festival Arcadia has remained strong over the years, last year it was reported by Cyberpresse that the organizer, ARCADIA Production, was in dire financial straits.

According to the write-up, Tennis Canada, the owner of Uniprix Stadium, which held the festival since 2005, has filed a breach of contract and claims that ARCADIA Production owes creditors as much as $109,000. The financial lawsuit was filed mere days before the 2008 Festival Arcadia. In order to keep the festival afloat, the organizers made a strategic move to relocate the event to the Pepsi Forum.

Despite the financial turmoil, the Quebec government signed a sponsorship deal last year valued at $25,000.

Information on what's happened since the lawsuit was filed last November has been hard to come by, but indications point to a bleak outcome. The festival's domain www.FestivalArcadia.com has expired and now displays parked ads. ARCADIA Production has not released any official statements as to the future of the event, nor have they announced a 2009 date.

While the outlook does look grim, I'll reach out to the organizers to see if I can get an update.

[Thanks to Games Montreal for bringing this to light]