The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival has announced that it's being forced to cancel for 2020.
One of the city's biggest and most significant cultural events, the festival had been scheduled to run from June 19 to 28. It's one of many major events cancelled this spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic and requests from all levels of government that people stay home to stop the spread of the virus.
In announcing the cancellation of the jazz festival, behind-the-scenes staff at the Vancouver Coastal Jazz & Blues Society said a number of factors went into a difficult decision. In addition to there being a good chance the virus will still be widespread, there were also concerns that, even if the festival was moved to the fall, venues would remain closed or have limits on the number of patrons allowed to gather in them. There would also be no way of knowing if the artists who'd been booked for the spring would be available to appear later in the year.
For more information, go here. Meanwhile, here's the full statement:
On behalf of everyone at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, we hope that you, your family, and your loved ones are keeping well during these difficult times. Our thoughts are with those who are dealing with the pandemic on the front lines and those whose lives and businesses have been thrown into uncertainty by the sudden changes.
Our team has been working non-stop to conceive how we might be able to present a Festival in 2020, but over the past month, as the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated it has become clear that it is not going to be possible to do so. With the support and advice of our board of directors, we have made the hugely disappointing decision to cancel this year’s Festival.
Although our city, province, and country will face many more important challenges during the coming month, we want to acknowledge that the Festival plays a large role in the cultural, economic, and social lives of many in our community. We are so sorry that we’ve had to take this unprecedented step, but we are determined that when it’s safe to do so, we’ll be back.
Like many others in our sector, this cancellation causes the Festival significant financial challenges. We are working closely with our family of public funders, our title sponsor TD, our private donors, and corporate partners to secure the Festival’s survival through this perilous period, and we thank them all for their ongoing support. If you have purchased a ticket to any shows that were on sale, we will be in touch with instructions to receive a refund, or donate the cost of your ticket to Coastal Jazz.
We look forward to a time when physical distancing is a thing of the past, and we can once again gather to experience the live moments of unrepeatable musical genius that power our Festival. Please keep in touch with us via social media to keep up to date with what we’re working on. Until then, please keep safe and thank you for your good thoughts.
The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival team