Cape Town - It's the first time in 20 years that the Cape Town Festival won’t take place, ahead of this year’s Human Rights Day on Wednesday.

Subtitled One City, Many Cultures, the aim of the festival was to promote a more tolerant, more integrated and united city.

Normally held to coincide with Human Rights Day, the festival included various activities over the years. It was normally held in The Company’s Garden before being moved to the Castle for last year’s event.

Chairperson Ryland Fisher said that the decision was made to cancel this year’s event because of a lack of funding.

“We really struggled to convince investors to come on board this year. It was difficult to get funders to buy into the idea of a project that supports social cohesion,” said Fisher.

Originally conceptualised in 1999 the festival grew in size and diversity with performances by local artists, film screenings, dancers, theatre productions and more.

“We promoted the social cohesion through music and workshops and the idea was to bring the people from different backgrounds together that might not have interacted otherwise.

“The idea was never to only celebrate these values on one day of the year but throughout the year.”

There is still a possibility that some form of the festival might take place at another time according to Fisher.

“If we can get some funding then we could do something smaller later this year,” he said.

Weekend Argus