New B.C. music festival collective collaborates for the future

Participating festivals include Harrison Festival of the Arts and Squamish Constellation

Covid-19 has had an adverse impact on countless industries and the live music festival sector is no exception.

On April 1 over 50 independent music festival producers in B.C. came together via video conference to address the challenges the industry is facing in light of the global pandemic.

As a result, the British Columbia Music Festival Collective was formed.

“The number of festivals in BC has grown substantially in the last 20 years and this crisis has highlighted the value of coming together to share ideas and resources so that we can all continue to strengthen our communities and create a vibrant arts and culture sector in BC,” said Julie Fowler, convener of the initial meeting and executive and artistic director for the ArtsWells Festival.

This group is composed of small and large music festivals representing every geographical region of BC.

These festival producers and directors have banded together in solidarity to create transparency, dialogue, and share their passion for live music to ensure that festivals continue to thrive in B.C. after this pandemic is no longer a threat to our well-being and safety.

READ MORE: Provincial government and Creative BC launch livestream concert and micro-grants

“Ensuring the public is safe and remains healthy is our foremost concern,” said Deb Beaton-Smith of Beat Music Management and a spokesperson for the collective. “As a collective we look forward to and will follow the directives for public gatherings put forward by our respective health authorities.

“I am thrilled that a united voice has been created and we look forward to acting as a vehicle for communicating with music industry individuals and organizations, the provincial government, and granting agencies. At the same time, these festivals will work together and individually to ensure that independent music festivals in BC continue to nurture the artistic and cultural impact they are known for, while still remaining a dynamic economic driver for our communities and our province,” continued Beaton-Smith.

“Our thoughts and hearts are with the artists and festival workers that rely on these events as a staple of their livelihood and economic survival throughout the year.”

While each festival will independently communicate its own course of action, the collective stands together with the public in its desire to keep BC’s vibrant festival culture alive.

“We are a collective of festivals that are all unique, and we are collaborating and crafting solutions together, supporting one another and our communities to keep our organizations viable for the future,” said Paul Hinrichs, executive and artistic director of Kaslo Jazz Etc Festival.

“Festivals are multi-year projects. Funds raised primarily through ticket sales, but also partnerships and donations, make up the cash flow required throughout the year to cover administration, rent, securing talent, production needs, venues and lease agreements. For many of us, we are already in the homestretch of a year’s worth of work.”

“It takes a village to raise a festival. At this time we invite our supporters to stand with us as we navigate these new realities. As a collective, we commit to being as open and forthcoming as possible regarding our events, and we will continue to invest in the B.C. music ecosystem that we all rely upon.”

PARTICIPATING FESTIVALS

5X Festival

Arts on the Fly

ArtsWells Festival Of All Things Art

Bella Coola Music Festival

Cumberland Wild

Electric Love Music Festival

Harrison Festival of the Arts

Islands Folk Festival

Block Rockin Beats

Kaslo Jazz Etc Festival

Kispiox Valley Music Festival

Midsummer Music Festival

Mission Folk Music Festival

Monashee Music Festival

Music on the Mountain-MoM Fest

Nelson International Mural Festival

NimbleFingers Bluegrass & Old-Time Festival and Workshop

Peace Valley Folk Fest

Ponderosa Festival

Q’emcin 2 RIVERS REMIX

Revelstoke Summer Street Fest

Rise & Shine FamJam Fundraiser

Robson Valley Music Festival

Rogue Fest

Ryga Arts Festival

Shambhala Music Festival

Squamish Constellation Festival

The Hornby Festival

ValhallaFest Arts and Music Festival

Victoria Ska & Reggae Festival

Wapiti Music Festival

Wicked Woods Music and Art Festival

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Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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