Festival of Wizardy owes thousands in wake of September event - Nov. 29, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
In the wake of the cancellation of the Festival of Wizardry going forward, companies and community groups are holding bills that Transfigured Town Inc. is not able to pay according to documents obtained by The Citizen.
An e-mail from Transfigured Town President Nathan Swartz sent in late October explains that the Festival of Wizardry, as well as Transfigured Town, can’t pay its debts and he classified them as failed business ventures.
In the e-mail, Swartz said that although the company “has made every effort to make good on all of its agreements it can no longer afford to pay its debts.”
The company, according to the e-mail, has “no money in the accounts, no assets of significant value and no money to pay employees”, adding that the “last remaining shareholder has already lost significant time and money assisting the corporation.”
Blyth Printing is one of the local companies that has suffered as a result of Transfigured Town defaulting on its obligations.
Owner Ken Whitmore explained that Blyth Printing received 10 cents to the dollar on a $5,372.78 bill.
“We got $537.28 and were told nothing more is coming unless [Swartz] can sell the [Transfigured Town] name,” Whitmore told The Citizen. “We received $539 for 160 hours of work, and that was after we paid for materials, supplies and wages.”
Whitmore said that he was blindsided by the turn of events because Swartz had been “an ideal customer” in previous dealings with him.
“He was a pleasure to deal with,” he said. “He was organized, and knowledgeable and he paid last year’s bill within 30 days.”
Most of the work done by Whitmore and his company included signage and minor print work for the event.
Huron Perth Tent Rentals, located in New Hamburg, erected tents for the event and a company representative says it is owed $20,600 for its services.
The company received a $5,800 deposit and then a further $867 after the fact from Transfigured Town, however that didn’t begin to cover the expenses the company accrued working for Transfigured Town. The company’s representative, who wished not to be named, said the job was the biggest of the year for Huron Perth Tent Rentals, requiring engineers and chair and table rentals costing over $2,100.
As a result of the experience, Huron Perth Tent Rentals’s management will be considering changes to the way the company does business to prevent similar losses in the future.
Bluewater Sanitation faced a similar situation according to a company representative. Owed $8,100, the company received less than five per cent of the total.
Like Whitmore, the representative from Bluewater Sanitation said that Swartz was good to work with at the 2017 Festival of Wizardry.
Like Huron Perth Tent Rentals, Bluewater Sanitation will be looking to change some of their practices, and similar events may have to pay ahead of the event. The change was labelled as unfortunate, but potentially necessary.
The Citizen is also aware of several local community groups, including St. John Ambulance, promised nearly $5,000 in donations between them that have also been told they won’t be receiving any money from the Festival.
The Citizen has e-mailed and called Swartz multiple times for comment without a response.
The Township of North Huron was also contacted regarding the rental fee for the Blyth Campground and whether it was paid, however no comment was given.
Note: The Citizen and its parent company North Huron Publishing is among those holding an unpaid bill for Transfigured Town, however Swartz has not contacted this company regarding those outstanding debts.