Saskatchewan Jazz Festival a success despite below-average attendance

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WATCH ABOVE: 30th annual Saskatchewan Jazz Festival hailed a success. Ryan Kessler has more. – Jul 4, 2016

Despite soggy weather forcing some performances to be cancelled, officials with the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival considered the event a success Monday.

About 70,000 to 75,000 festival-goers attended some part of the ten-day event, according to Jacqueline Conway, marketing director of the festival.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Jazz Festival volunteer celebrates 30 years of work

That’s down from the average attendance of 80,000 to 85,000, Conway said, attributing the discrepancy to the weather.

“It wasn’t the end of the world by any means and we still were really happy with how things went,” Conway said.

“A little rain doesn’t hurt and it keeps the gardens looking fresh,” she added.

READ MORE: Lightning forces cancellation of one Saskatchewan Jazz Festival performance

In addition to the mainstage, the festival lineup included 70 free concerts, along with a free yoga jam and two free movies in the Bessborough Gardens.

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Market research shows the festival has a $7 million economic impact on Saskatoon, Conway said.

The spin-offs from such events are often underestimated, according to Alex Fallon, CEO of the Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority.

“For every dollar a local person spends, or a visitor spends attending these festivals, it has a knock-on effect to the local economy of about $1.58,” Fallon said.

As the City of Saskatoon grows and the population increases, Fallon said festivals are becoming growing economic contributors.

“It’s a great thing for the city, the region and the economy.”

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