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'It’s unfair': Stolen canoes leave festival organizers scrambling
EDMONTON-- A winter festival in Edmonton is out thousands of dollars after two thefts robbed them of crucial items.
The Flying Canoe Volant Festival is inspired by a legend about explorers using flying canoes.
Since August, the festival has had eight of their canoes stolen, including a recent theft last month.
“There's probably $8,000 in canoes that have gone missing in total, and these last ones is a couple thousand dollars,” said Daniel Cournoyer with the Flying Canoe Volant Festival.
Cournoyer said the recent theft came as a bit of a surprise, considering the canoes were locked in a parking garage.
“We were hoping that having them locked up in a cage would be enough to discourage that kind of activity.”
In a span of less than 15 minutes, the thief cut the lock, piled three canoes in the back of their truck, and sped away.
“They loaded up as many canoes as they could,” said Cournoyer. “I think they didn't quite take four because they couldn't quite fit four in the back up of the pickup.”
The canoes were meant to be used like toboggans in the festival’s flying canoe race.
Cournoyer says the festival will go on, but it faces a financial blow.
“We have very little room, wiggle room in our budget so somehow we'll have to find three more or four more canoes,” said Cournoyer.
“I just find it's unfortunate to take from community, take people's possessions. Obviously it's unfair and it just takes away from the spirit.”
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Sarah Plowman