Hold Artfest Ontario Accountable for their Partnership with the Epoch Times

Hold Artfest Ontario Accountable for their Partnership with the Epoch Times

July 10, 2022
This petition made change with 103 supporters!

Why this petition matters

Started by Cate Patterson

Artfest Ontario has been a mainstay of the Kingston area for years, and it is meant to be a gathering of like-minded artists and community members.  

It was shocking to discover that Artfest Ontario not only engaged in a partnership from The Epoch Times, but allowed them to have a booth at this event. When asked about their awareness of this partnership, it became apparent that neither volunteers nor vendors were aware of this relationship. 

How could an art festival partner with a publication that produces homophobic, transphobic, racist and anti-science content? Their articles equate inclusive education and Pride to communism, pushes a racist “plandemic” narrative, denies climate change and more. 

Could Artfest Ontario have simply made an error in failing to research or vet this media partner? When asked about this on social media, comments were deleted. When emailed about this, no reply was received. When it went to the press, the response from Artfest Ontario owner Lory MacDonald stated that she believed that The Epoch Times shares no more misinformation than any other publication and that they “do the due diligence.” Further to this, she stated that “people that come, they aren’t thinking about opinions. They’re thinking about going to an art festival.”   

We want Lory to understand that this is simply not the case. People publicly shared their wish to boycott, a few volunteers left when they learned, and when informed, artists expressed dismay and disappointment.

 Discussions of disgust over this partnership were happening on multiple social media platforms, some of which had well over 100 comments, largely expressing concern. It is not the “small group of people” that Lory stated in her response. 

The overwhelming statement was clear; people were confused and disappointed. When you accept a partnership, you align yourself with the views of this partner. This is not negotiable. The theme of this year’s event was Connections, but the moment the broader public was made aware of this ongoing partnership, it caused immediate division. 


When the article from the local news came out, the community was hoping for an apology, but what they got was an article of defensiveness, that expressed support for the Epoch Times and attempted to guilt community members for hurting artists that participate in her events.  


We want Lory to understand that partnering with such a toxic publication is what hurts not only artists, but also members of the marginalized communities targeted by the Epoch Times. We want Lory to reflect on the community’s response, apologize and reconsider her partnership with this publication. And we wish Lory to commit to transparency when advertising for vendors and volunteers."





This petition made change with 103 supporters!

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