Updates & Press Releases

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Festival Announces Masters of Ceremony

August 7, 2019

The International Relations Commission is pleased to announce WOOD TV8 broadcasters Eva Aguirre Cooper and Whitney Burney as the Masters of Ceremony for the first International Festival of Holland.  “We are pleased to support the first International Festival of Holland, which celebrates the heritage and diversity of cultures in our region. This kind of event helps to foster discovery and appreciation of the unique talents and treasures that can bring us together as one community”, says Julie A. Brinks, Vice President and General Manager of WOOD TV | WOTV | WXSP.

Master of Ceremony Whitney Burney hales from West Michigan and joined the WOOD-TV News 8 team earlier in 2019 as a reporter for the Lakeshore area.  Whitney will start the festivities.

“As the Lakeshore reporter for WOOD-TV News 8, I am eager to learn all about Holland and the surrounding communities, and help to tell the stories that are most important to the Lakeshore viewers and on-line audiences in Holland, Grand Haven, and Muskegon”, said Whitney Burney, Lakeshore Correspondent.

“Whitney is honored to be involved with the first International Festival of Holland, meeting community leaders and residents, and looks forward to getting to know her community”, added Brinks.

Eva Aguirre Cooper, the evening Master of Ceremony, has been the Community Affairs Director at WOOD TV8, WOTV4 and WXSP since 1998.    Her responsibilities include community outreach efforts, on-air reporting for News 8 and special station community projects including Connecting with Community and the Salvation Army Angel Tree Toy Drive. 

Her community involvement includes participation on various boards and committees such as Experience Grand Rapids, West Michigan Aviation Academy, Mary Free Bed Foundation, Metro Health Hospital Foundation, Aquinas College, Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities, Grand Rapids Sister Cities – Mexico Committee and ongoing participation in the Hispanic community. Eva’s parents are both from Mexico and she is fluent in Spanish.

About WOOD-TV 8: Celebrating the 70th year on-the-air, WOOD-TV8’s breaking news, in-depth investigations, and weather is why WOOD-TV 8 continues to be West Michigan’s leader for news, weather, and community involvement.  It is available on-air, online at woodtv.com and through the WOOD-TV 8 News and StormTeam 8 Weather apps.

About the International Relations Festival of Holland: The First Annual International Festival of Holland is supported by the Flagstar Foundation. Sponsors to date include WHTC 1040 AM and 99.7FM & Van 92.7, Haworth, LG Chem, Quincy Street, Inc., Priority Health, Gentex Corporation, Meijer, GRCC Lakeshore Campus, McDonald’s-Milagro Six, Fenn Valley Vineyards, Holland Visitors’ Bureau, Elzinga & Volkers, S2 Yachts/Tiara Yachts, Manpower, the West Michigan Lakeshores Association of Realtors, Boar’s Head, Padnos, and many other local businesses. The Festival is also supported through grants from the MI Humanities and the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs. Visit www.internationalfestivalholland.com for a list of all sponsors and for additional sponsorship opportunities.

City Welcomes Queretaro Fountain Architect

August 6, 2019

The City of Holland announces Architect Jose Luis Covarrubias Herrera will be an honored guest at the Queretaro Fountain Rededication on August 17, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. This public event will be held in Kollen Park by the fountain and is the inaugural event for the International Festival of Holland, which begins at noon.  The Queretaro Fountain rededication marks the 20th anniversary of the fountain in Holland, Michigan.  “It’s been an honor to have this beautiful fountain in Holland for the past 20 years reminding us of the connection between our two cities. This rededication celebrates that and further commits us to a great future relationship,” says Dave Hoekstra, Council Member and Liaison to the International Relations Commission.

The Queretaro Fountain, a gift from the City of Queretaro was given to the City to mark the sister city relationship.   “The Kollen Park fountain is more than a gift from one sister city to another, as it embodies the collaborative efforts by members from both cities. Our teamwork produced a space large in meaning and goodwill which the city has welcomed and the community treasured,” says Jose Luis Covarrubias Herrera.

Jose Luis Covarrubias Herrera was born in September 1955 in Mexico City where he later studied architecture at La Salle University from 1974 to 1979. After graduating, he returned to Queretaro, the city where he was raised, and developed most of his work. He devoted his initial career years to the design and construction of private architecture (residential and commercial).   From 1997 to 2000 he entered the public sector directing the City Secretary of Urban Development, Public Works and Ecology. From 2003 to 2009 he led the State’s Secretary of Urban Development and Public Works. Among other infrastructure developed under his leadership, the Queretaro Urban Development and Public Works executed a 7 km street regeneration which, besides contributing to the city connectivity and accessibility, was honored by two international prizes and a national prize from the XVI edition of the CEMEX Award.  
 
About the origins of the plaza in the Americas.  The plaza stems from Mesoamerican settlements and were part of a “religious triad composed by a three-part ensemble of the atrium, the church, and the open courtyard or plaza. Today, plazas in many Latin American countries function as community gathering spaces of commerce, festival spaces, galleries, political demonstrations, and entertainment.

About the International Relations Commission (IRC): The International Festival is the most recent IRC program designed to enrich Holland area residents’ connection to our fellow global citizens. Established in 1993, the International Relations Commission has sought to build and maintain meaningful relationships between the people of Holland and the wider world through cultural, educational, and professional contact. IRC programs and events include Sister-City relationships with Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico, an annual film series, World Affairs Council programming, and various community programs.

About the International Relations Festival of Holland: The First Annual International Festival of Holland is supported by the Flagstar Foundation. Sponsors to date include WHTC 1040 AM and 99.7FM & Van 92.7, Haworth, LG Chem, Quincy Street, Inc., Priority Health, Padnos, Gentex Corporation, Meijer, GRCC Lakeshore Campus, McDonald’s-Milagro Six, Fenn Valley Vineyards, Holland Visitors’ Bureau, Elzinga & Volkers, S2

Previous Press Releases

All throughout July, New Holland Brewing’s Community Tap is supporting the International Festival of Holland. Stop by, order a cold one, and support the Festival!

Watch the Vimeo of the Artist Reception and Wine Launch here.