Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is committed to supporting the cultural, economic and social vitality of Waterloo Region. Through Oktoberfest Cares, our festival focuses on celebrating our traditions, enriching our community and supporting those who support others.
Supporting Those Who Help Others
Did you know that 1/3 of people served at the Food Bank of Waterloo Region are under 18 years old? And 1 in 20 households in Waterloo Region rely on food assistance.
The Onkel Hans Food Drive is by far one of the most important aspects of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest. In 2020, the initiative raised more than 50,000 meals for over 34,000 people in our community.
For many, the ability to put food on the table has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Food Bank of Waterloo Region has adjusted its operations to ensure no one experiences food insecurity during this uncertain time.
Because there is not an in-person Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2021, the festival is continuing to support the Food Bank of Waterloo Region in a few different ways, including a donation of portions of the proceeds from Oktoberfest Local Box, 2021 Pin Sales and the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Live event.
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest is a community-owned festival, supported by the hard work and dedication of over 425 year-round volunteers. Some of our Oktoberfest family have been a part of the organization since its inception in 1969. We welcome anyone who shares our love for this community and wants to participate in a hands-on volunteer experience.
According to a third-party economic impact study done in 2018, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest generates over $10 million annually in economic benefit to Waterloo Region. This included:
Over $12.3 million in tourism spending
Over $5 million spent by local residents at concessions and restaurants during the festival
Over $3.8 million in tax revenue generated
Equivalent of 119 full-year jobs supported by the festival
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest puts a high priority on our role as an economic driver for Waterloo Region and for the tourism economy in Southwestern Ontario. While the pandemic has greatly debilitated our festival and the entire tourism industry, we continue to prioritize our impact on local businesses as our reason to keep moving forward, and to find new ways to engage with those in our community, and visitors.
As part of our continued support of the local economy, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest puts great focus on engaging local artists, musicians, and talent when we seek out partners to help create our festival experience. We prioritize hiring local musicians, working with local event producers and videographers, and using local tech talent to deliver our experiences. If you have a local business and would like to know more about how you can work with the festival please contact Laurie Davison.
We acknowledge that the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest Inc. Head Office is situated on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee Peoples. We also acknowledge that the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest community festival takes place on this traditional territory. It is the settlers of this traditional territory whose cultural roots we celebrate during Oktoberfest. We also recognize and respect the cultural diversity that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people bring to our community and recognize their past and present contributions to this land.