Tag: dino fazio

    Fazio out as Winter Festival of Lights GM

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    After 10 years, the Winter Festival of Lights and its general manager Dino Fazio have parted ways.

    Fazio confirmed in an e-mail to the media Wednesday that he has left the long-running festival to pursue “personal projects.” He had been on a leave of absence “for awhile,” according to festival board co-chairman Brian Crow.

    He said Fazio was a “great” leader for the festival during an often turbulent decade. During his stint, the festival had to bow out of the annual New Year’s Eve concert in Queen Victoria Park, and last year ended its partnership with Disney after more than two decades.


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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    It’s a Wednesday afternoon a few days before Christmas and the last thing Dino Fazio wants to see is weather like this.

    As winter begins, rain is pouring onto the outdoor skating rink built near the Table Rock building.

    After seven years of heading up the Winter Festival of Lights, the 40-year-old Fazio knows weather is one of those elements he just has to roll with.

    “When you’re involved in outdoor events, the one thing you can’t control is the weather. You’re always worried about it,” he said.

    Mickey and Minnie light up winter festival

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    From the Niagara Falls Review (includes video):

    With the push of a button by Mickey and Minnie, the CAA Winter Festival of Lights kicked off its 29th year Saturday night. The festival got under way in familiar fashion with a pair of free shows at Queen Victoria Park featuring magician Greg Frewin, the cast of the Oh Canada Eh? dinner show and local dancers and singers.

    There were back-to-back Ontario Power Generation Opening Ceremony shows, but the first one ended with the illumination of the festival’s three million lights along a 6 km stretch of the Niagara Parkway.

    The park was packed with thousands of people for the opening night events thanks to temperatures that were less frigid than normal. “It’s like an early gift. It’s a nice way to start off the season,” said Winter Festival of Lights general manager Dino Fazio.

    The nice weather made the kick-off more appealing this year, said one of the many parents who brought their kids to see the Disney characters perform. “The kids love it because they get to see action – the characters, the Christmas music. It’s good for the community,” said Lorraine Bradshaw, who brought her nine-year-old daughter Kaitelyn to the event for the first time.

    Festival of Lights turns up the wattage with new sports events

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    With its 30th anniversary looming next year, the CAA Winter Festival of Lights is adding more juice to its lineup.

    Sponsored by beverage maker Cintron, a new three-day sports festival will take place throughout the city to conclude this year’s event. It’s expected to attract about 1,300 athletes in a variety of sports, along with 2,600 spectators during tourism’s chilly off-season.

    Festival of Lights general manager Dino Fazio looks at it as a “mini-Olympics,” with potential for major competitions and TV coverage down the road.

    “Curling, gymnastics, basketball, girls and boys hockey, you name it — if anybody wants to be part of it, they will be,” said Fazio. “The sky’s the limits in terms of the number of sports we could add, the number of age groups we could add.

    “The beauty about this event is that it can include provincial and national championships.”

    Niagara Falls MPP Kim Craitor announced $81,400 in funding for the sports festival over the next 24 months through the province’s Trillium Foundation. The money will be used to hire an events manager.

    WKBW Channel 7 in Buffalo also had a related article

    • Winter Festival of Lights to Open Nov. 5th.

    Mickey set to flip the switch

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The leaves have fallen, the pumpkins are gone and the Christmas decorations are out of storage.

    But around Niagara Falls, the season doesn’t formally start until Mickey Mouse says so.

    The Disney icon will once again flip the switch Saturday night at Queen Victoria Park to get the 28th CAA Winter Festival of Lights underway. In a flash, more than 125 displays and three million lights will dazzle the city, making it one of North America’s largest lights festivals.

    “It kind of officially turns the city into winter mode,” says festival general manager Dino Fazio. “It certainly drives a lot of overnight tourism (this weekend) … that’s when we start to see people showing up.

    “They’ll come on a regular basis. There are those that come now but also want to see (the lights) when the snow falls as well.”

    Lights festival picks up sponsor

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    A new era of the Winter Festival of Lights began with a name change Wednesday.

    For the first time in its 27-year history, a title sponsorship has been secured for the nearly three-month-long event. It will now be known as the CAA Winter Festival of Lights.

    The partnership with CAA Niagara will ensure the festival remains financially viable and high profile, said general manager Dino Fazio.

    “It’s a significant association between two brands — in this case, two great brands,” he said.

    This seems like excellent news!

    Second chance for rink


    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The Rink at the Brink might see another winter after Niagara Parks Commission and Winter Festival of Lights officials smoothed over some of the commission’s concerns about the fledgling tourist attraction’s first season.

    “We are cautiously optimistic the parks commission board will approve the rink operating within the parks’ land this year as they did last year,” said Winter Festival of Lights manager Dino Fazio after a lunch meeting with parks chairwoman Fay Booker and vice-chairwoman Janice Thomson.

    They got together Tuesday because the parks commission in August put the festival on notice it might not renew the lease it gave the festival last year to run a temporary, open-air skating rink near the Horseshoe Falls.

    The festival operated the rink, which is about two-thirds the size of an NHL rink, but it was assembled on parks land.

    Parks commissioners were upset the rink wasn’t dismantled until July, despite festival assurances it would be gone in April.

    Council guarantees loan for Winter Festival of Lights

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    The lights will stay on this winter after city council agreed to guarantee a $400,000 line of credit for the Winter Festival of Lights its manager said was needed to pay its outstanding bills.

    The finance department staff opposed the move, saying the city shouldn’t act as a bank for community groups.

    Festival manager Dino Fazio said without city support, he would have to “drastically alter the festival or certainly look at its demise.”

    Cash-tight festival needs help from city

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    From the Niagara Falls Review:

    With its own finances at the brink, the Winter Festival of Lights has turned to city hall to back up its bid to get a line of credit it needs to pay the bills on the new Rink at the Brink skating attraction.

    Festival manager Dino Fazio said his organization needs a $500,000 line of credit from its bank to start paying some of the bills associated with the new rink’s construction across from the Niagara Parks Commission’s Table Rock Complex last fall.

    Without the city acting as a guarantor, the bank won’t give the festival the loan, Fazio said.

    “I don’t need a dollar from the city. I do need a guarantee,” Fazio told members of the corporate services committee, which considers council’s financial matters.

    “Will they give it to you without us?” Coun. Carolynn Ioannoni asked.

    “No,” Fazio replied.

    2nd Annual Komedy for Kidneys Rodney Pentland Memorial Benefit Show

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    On Monday, I received the latest email from the Niagara Falls Comedy Fest and Winter Festival of Lights. You will notice that a link to a video was included, and there is a “0” on the line below it. If you had gotten the email and clicked on the link, it would have taken you to the wrong video. If you put the “0” on the end, you’d see the right video. Dino Fazio emailed shortly after the original email went out and acknowledged the mistake.


    To get these updates, fill out the form at the bottom of the Niagara Falls Comedy Fest main page.

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