Vancouver Folk Music Festival sings different tune on cancellation

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2023 cancelled, future of event in question'
Vancouver Folk Music Festival 2023 cancelled, future of event in question
After more than 40 years, it appears the Vancouver Folk Music Festival may be done for good. The festival’s board says the costs of the event, the cash-flow requirements, and its limited budget for staff have made it impossible for the event to happen this year and would take hundreds of thousands of dollars more to put it on in the future – Jan 17, 2023

A groundswell of support for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival has its board of directors rethinking plans to cancel this year’s event and dissolve the society.

An open letter from the board says several parties have offered possible solutions for funding and support since it announced the plan to end the festival last week.

Read more: ‘We need to feed our souls’: Community rallies to save Vancouver folk festival

It says the board has paused the motion to dissolve the society and moved the annual general meeting from Feb. 1 to March 1, while it explores options to save the festival.

The letter says there’s been an extraordinary response to the decision to cancel the festival, with board members receiving numerous messages of love and support from attendees, dedicated volunteers, musicians and many others.

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While the board says there have been incredible highlights in the 45-year history of the festival, its financial past has seldom reflected the same harmony.

The board announced last week that it would need another $500,000 to cover higher expenses this year, and the letter says the community needs to know that the festival’s financial situation has long been “untenable.”

Read more: No Vancouver folk festival for 2023, event facing permanent cancellation

It adds that historically, there has been strong opposition to corporate funding to support the festival.

“As views began to change on this, it became apparent that we were far behind the curve in building relationships with potential corporate funders in comparison to other festivals.”

While the board says it has assurances that its grants are being held and they are in good standing with previous funders, they want to ensure the future of the festival is sustainable.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2023.

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