[Dixielandjazz] Wake up call from Victoria, BC

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 15 02:35:59 PST 2003

Hello listmates,

I just came upon this announcement from the Terrif-Vic Jazz Festival in 
Victoria, B.C. It is indicative of the problems faced by OKOM festivals all 
over the USA. I say "USA" because it seems our European counterparts are 
still going strong but our problems will become their problems in the 
fulness of time.

We have often joked that our audiences are growing old and dying and we are 
not replacing those aging fans with younger ones. It seems more of a reality 
than a joke as more and more festivals face difficult decisions.

Here is a clip from the Terrif-Vic Jazz Festival:

December 4, 2003
Victoria, B.C.


The Board of Directors for the TerrifVic Jazz Party Society today announced 
the cancellation of the 2004 TerrifVic Jazz Party event, due to a revenue 
shortfall from the 2003 event and a lack of major corporate sponsors.

The revenue shortfall from the 2003 Jazz Party was caused largely by an 
unexpected decrease in attendance from the United States due to a general 
downturn in American travel after the outbreak of the U.S. war with Iraq.  
The Society’s Board of Directors also expressed concern over the lack of 
major sponsors to support the staging of the 2004 Jazz Party festival.

In making this announcement, Society President Lorne Whyte stated, “The 
society has arrived at this difficult decision after exhausting all possible 
options to secure a new major sponsor for 2004.  We cannot risk creating a 
bigger deficit for the Society or a greater financial burden for our 

At the Society’s Annual General Meeting on December 1st, the Board reported 
a $70,000 drop in revenues in 2003 which leaves an accumulated deficit of 
$42,563. The Board and twenty-five Jazz Party Committee Chairs in attendance 
approved the 2003 year end statement to July 31, 2003.

The 16 jazz bands who participated in the 2003 Jazz Party were paid in full 
during the festival and suppliers received 70% of the monies owed to them on 
a pro rata basis on May 23, 2003.  The Society is in the process of making a 
final payment for a further 10% of the monies owed to its suppliers.

“Regretfully, suppliers will not receive full payment but will receive 
approximately 80% of the amount owing to them,” stated Whyte.  “Members of 
the society executive who contributed working capital to the event also will 
sustain a financial loss.”

Whyte pointed out that the TerrifVic Jazz Party has been a major event for 
the Greater Victoria community since its inception in 1982.   “Each April, 
the TerrifVic Jazz Party drew thousands of visitors to Greater Victoria who 
have spent more than $50 million dollars in the local economy over the past 
21 years.”

Local students will also feel the loss of the event.  In addition to staging 
the annual festival, including a free Kids Party and outdoor community 
concert, the TerrifVic Jazz Party Society established programs with local 
schools.  This school programming provided Greater Victoria students with a 
keen appreciation for the jazz music genre as well as training from jazz 
professionals from around the globe.

On behalf of the Board, Whyte paid tribute to all those responsible for the 
success of the Terrifvic Jazz Party over the past 21 years:  “To all of our 
volunteers, patrons, suppliers and sponsors,  our sincerest and most 


----> End clip

As concerned musicians and fans we are going to have to come up with new and 
innovative ways of keeping our music alive! I'm sure the events of 9-11 had 
an effect on travel to British Columbia last April but that is only a small 
part of the problem. The main problem is that our audiences are growing old 
and dying.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Gunter
jazzboard at hotmail.com

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