Amid teachers' dispute, Vancouver International Children's Festival sees attendance slide by 28 percent

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The final numbers tell the story: the recent Vancouver International Children's Festival suffered a big hit due to the lock-out and teachers’ dispute.

Attendance was down 28 percent from both 2012 and 2013 seasons for the Granville Island-based event that ran the last week of May.

Close to 20,000 people came to the festival, with 32 per cent of school groups cancelling their field trips. The kids' fest says those cancellations also affected word-of-mouth buzz on what was a critically lauded lineup of shows. 

“We tried everything in our power to avoid the Festival becoming collateral damage in this dispute but unfortunately our final numbers tell us a different story,” saidKatharine Carol, artistic and executive director, in a press statement released this morning. “Despite this, we remain optimistic about the Festival’s future and our reason d’être – to inspire and enable grown-ups to introduce live professional artistic experiences into a child’s development in a way that transforms the child’s understanding of the world around them and what is creatively possible.”

Next year’s VICF is set to take place May 25 to May 31, 2015 on Granville Island.

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