Category Archives: Kudos!

Roncesvalles Village BIA Honoured At OBIAA Conference

It is with pride that we announce that the Roncesvalles Village BIA has been awarded the Special Events and Promotions Award at this year’s Ontario BIA Association conference.

obiaa-conference-2010-436.jpgRVBIA Vice-chair Andrew Chomentowski accepted the award on behalf of the BIA. In particular, this award acknowledges the extraordinary success of the Roncesvalles Polish Festival, which in five years has become one of the largest neighbourhood festivals in Toronto and the largest festival focussing on Polish culture in Canada. In our press releases we call the festival “Canada’s largest celebration of Polish culture in Toronto’s best neighbourhood.”

In this photo we see TABIA executive director John Kiru, RVBIA Chair Tony Cauch and Vice-chair Andrew Chomentowski, and Patti Brooks, Vice-president of OBIAA.

obiaaaward.jpgThe following address was read in advance of the award’s presentation: “The Roncesvalles Polish Festival has grown from its humble beginnings of a few thousand people to attracting an estimated 175,000 to 200,000 people in 2009 – the largest Polish Festival in Canada, if not North America.

The success of the Roncesvalles Village BIA Polish Festival is largely due to the innovative approach to the re-branding of the festival some 5 years ago. Formerly known as the Harvest Festival and although effective, was not distinctive and drew small numbers at significant expense.

By taking advantage of its rich Polish heritage, the Roncesvalles Village BIA re-branded its name to the “Polish Festival” and distinguished itself in a crowded market of neighbourhood festivals in Toronto.

Attracting momentum with their new name, significant sponsors for the event leveraged their modest event budget almost 7 times.

The Polish Festival puts the Roncesvalles Village BIA on the map every year; broadcast in Poland, across the GTA and as far away as New York City, major Canadian television networks pick-up on the event. The event attracts people from all over the world and is a major internationally celebrated event.

Please join me in a warm round of applause for Roncesvalles Village BIA.”

The RVBIA congratulates and thanks all past and current members of the Promotions and Marketing Committee. In particular we thank that committee’s chair, Andrew Chomentowski, who has volunteered for the BIA for over two decades on the Promotions and Marketing Committee. This award is a tribute to his ongoing efforts to promote Roncesvalles Village.

This award is the result of an enormous group effort. We thank our Festival patron, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Toronto, and our Festival sponsors including the Polish Credit Union, Peter Mielczynski Agencies, European Fine Foods, The Knights of Polonia, and all the participating members of the Roncesvalles Village BIA.

Thank You Krys!

krys.jpgAs a number of you probably know, Krys Streich left Copernicus Lodge and therefore our BIA a short while ago.

Krys served on the Board and was an important volunteer in our community, particularly in the Roncesvalles Polish Festival.

This is an excerpt from a very nice letter we received:

Dear Tony and BIA Members:

Thank you so much for the floral arrangement and kind words… I have deep roots in the area as I was born there and worked there for many years. It was a real pleasure for me to serve and perhaps have added some value to the Board. Best wishes to you all and most importantly may you have smooth roads ahead.

With warm regards,


We thank Krys for her service to the BIA and Roncesvalles Village, and wish her all the best for the future.

Another Story Raises Community Funds

We would like to congratulate Another Story Bookstore for their holiday fundraising efforts. Their annual holiday gift-wrapping campaign raises funds for worthy charities. This year they raised $1204 for PARC (Parkdale Activity and Recreation Centre), an important community centre serving Parkdale and Roncesvalles Village.

This is yet another example of the terrific community spirit shown by businesses up and down Roncesvalles. When you support business in Roncesvalles Village, business gives back to your community!

Local Runners Fundraise for Haiti

Local resident Nick Capra organized a marathon in Cap Hatien, Haiti last year. This year’s marathon has been cancelled due to the earthquake, so he is organizing a fundraising run called Training for Solidarity to benefit relief work in Haiti instead.

The run will be either 10km or 20km. Walkers are also welcome. This is a pay-what-you-can event. Donations are welcome and can be made online here

The Palais Royale has generously donated their facility for this fundraising event, and Runners Den and Running Free are providing support for the event. Registration can be done online or on the day (Saturday, January 30) at 9:00. The run will begin at 9:30 a.m.

The run will begin and end at the Palais Royale, 1601 Lakeshore Boulevard West (just over the Roncesvalles foot bridge.)