Each year on the third weekend of June, four Main Street blocks in the heart of Steinbach are transformed into midways, markets, entertainment stages and other vibrant spaces that celebrate the culture and heritage of Southeastern Manitoba.

Summer in the City always has a lot going on, but much of what tends to draw people to the event has to do with those chance encounters that take place between friends, families and folks who might not otherwise connect. It’s something Carly Koop, who has helped organize the festival for nine years, hears often.

“When you walk down the street, you’re hearing things like, ‘Hi! Haven’t seen you in a bit,’ and I love that,” she says. “It’s often the first thing people tell me as soon as I start talking about Summer in the City. There’s a novelty to walking down Main Street with no traffic.”

Not only isn’t there space for cars, explains Koop, who oversees event sponsorships, but there’s sometimes barely enough room for people. More and more, she finds that visitors are coming from further away to enjoy everything Summer in the City has to offer.

“The festival has blown up in attendance in the last few years,” she says. “People want to come here for this.”

Summer In The City takes over downtown SteinbachSummer In The City takes over downtown Steinbach

Summer in the City’s growing popularity (approximately 40,000 people checked out the 2023 event) can be put down to any number of things, such as the Wonder Shows Midway, the patio party, Market in the City, all-ages sports events and free admission. But bigger capacity also means more spaces, more volunteers and, crucially, more sponsors.

With just over a month until it all kicks off on Friday, June 14, Koop is hoping to come up with an additional $30,000 to meet budget. Local businesses have already stepped up in a big way, but there are still opportunities for those who would like to be involved.

“There are many different levels for sponsors to step in at,” says Koop. “They can sponsor a specific area of the festival. They can donate food to our volunteers. They can contribute financially. I love and appreciate all the donations and want to make sure our sponsors feel honoured – that we acknowledge their value.”

She adds that she and her fellow organizers are even more grateful for regional corporate support, as they realize things have been tight for everyone these last few years. They’re humbled at the generous and enthusiastic support they continue to receive.

“We’re constantly reminded just how amazing our local business community is,” she says. “Businesses along Main Street give up their storefront space for the weekend, and other businesses in the Southeast are always asking what they can do to make the festival happen – whether with cash, gifts in kind or products and services. It’s overwhelming.”

Beyond the contribution to community spirit, there are obvious economic benefits for sponsors.

“It all helps build community, and that just blows back into our local businesses,” says Koop. “I just love how local organizations and businesses lean into this and ask how they can participate.”

Prospective sponsors who would like to participate at a Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze level, or those that might have a specific idea, product or service they’d prefer to contribute, can contact Koop directly by emailing sponsorship@summerinthecity.ca. Further information regarding the breadth of Summer in the City’s attractions is also available on their website.

“The closer we get to Summer in the City, the more exciting it is,” says Koop. “I just love how the whole community leans in.”


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