Vancouver Folk Fest organizers explore new funding options

Vancouver Folk Fest organizers explore new funding options

According to organizers, the fate of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival is not yet sealed.

The festival’s board announced on Thursday that several interested parties have made proposals to maintain the annual event and that members are exploring all options.

“This is very encouraging and the board is actively in discussions with these parties to see how these possibilities can become reality,” reads an update on the festival’s website.

“At this stage of our discussions we must keep the details confidential.”

The board also postponed the annual general meeting – at which members were expected to vote to dissolve the Vancouver Folk Music Festival Society – from February 1 to March 1.

Last week’s announcement that the festival would be cancelled came as a major blow to the event’s many fans, some of whom have been coming for decades.

Board Chairman Mark Zuberbuhler blamed “massively increased costs” for the event’s failure to break even in 2022 despite years of anticipation after the 2020 and 2021 festivals were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By dissolving the association, the organizers would be able to pay the remaining bills of the festival.

In Thursday’s update, the board announced that the event’s financial situation has been “unsustainable for a long time,” partly due to the Vancouver Folk Music Festival’s longstanding resistance to corporate financing.

“As perceptions of this changed, it became clear that we were lagging far behind other festivals in building relationships with potential corporate funders,” the board wrote.

“We know it takes years to build these relationships before substantial funding can be secured.”

If the festival goes ahead, organisers will ensure it is “sustainable and fits into the new reality we are facing”.