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Vancouver Folk Music Festival will return to Jericho Beach Park this summer

Taj Mahal by David Niddrie
One of the headliners at last year's Vancouver Folk Music Festival was Taj Mahal. Photo by David Niddrie.

On March 9, Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Minister Lana Popham made a prediction about the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. In the B.C. legislature, she said that she would know within a couple of weeks whether the event would continue.

In fact, the answer came in less than one week. Today, the registered charity that puts on the festival announced that it will be held from July 14 to 16. Once again, the 45-year-old event will be at Jericho Beach Park.

“In the past month new funders have come forward with substantial offers to help the festival happen this year,” the society stated. “In addition, we have had an outpouring of volunteer support to assist in many aspects of getting the festival organized and launched. Other festivals have stepped up to assist with booking performers—artists and other festivals benefit when our Vancouver festival is healthy.”

One of those new funders is the provincial government. Last month, it announced a $30-million fund to provide a financial assistance for fairs, festivals, and other events. The largest individual grants would be $250,000.

New Vancouver Folk Music Festival Society president Erin Mullan said in a written statement that this funding was a “game changer”.

The festival website statement noted that the board is larger, with newly elected directors joining returning members.

Last January, the previous board announced that this year’s festival had been cancelled. In addition, the board declared at the time that members would vote on a board motion to dissolve the society.

Members objected to cancelling folk festival

After a well-attended online town-hall meeting in early February, the board rescinded the motion to dissolve the society. This came after many members objected to cancelling the festival and winding down an organization that can issue tax receipts to donors.

The board also followed up on the town-hall meeting by releasing detailed financial information. It forecast a $460,000 deficit in this fiscal year, which ends on August 31, largely due to event-related costs.

Pancouver has previously reported that the society posted a $24,891 deficit in the fiscal year ending last August 31.

In the two previous years when no festival was held due to the pandemic, the society recorded a surplus of $361,186.

The festival is held every year in the provincial constituency of Vancouver–Point Grey. It’s represented in the legislature by Premier David Eby.

Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter @charliesmithvcr. Follow Pancouver on Twitter @PancouverMedia.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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The Society of We Are Canadians Too created Pancouver to foster greater appreciation for underrepresented artistic communities. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.

We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.

The Society of We Are Canadians Too created Pancouver to foster greater appreciation for underrepresented artistic communities. A rising tide of understanding lifts all of us.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.