[Dixielandjazz] Victoria Jazz Festival
lennielsen at telus.net
Wed Dec 17 21:23:33 PST 2003
It was gratifying to hear from so many people who have been to Victoria
and who not only enjoyed the festival but have good memories from it.
Also, to hear from others who are concerned about OKOM in general and
therefore regret Victoria's misfortune.
Kurt...I can only kind of half answer your question because I don't have
access to the thinking of the local business community. The President
and driving force behind the original concept for Victoria and also the
year to year production is Lorne White. As a young man he served as
Pres. of the Junior Chamber of Commerce and some years following this he
became the Pres. of the Senior body. He has always been exceptionally
capable and subsequently was hired as the business manager for the
Chamber. It was in this capacity that he sold the community on the
festival as a way of bringing in new business at a time of year not
regularly considered tourist season. He has the confidence of the
community and in the past has been able to convince them of the benefits
of the festival. I should hope they can see those benefits for
themselves. So what happens now?? Does the community need a year off to
actually count their loss of business revenue from this failure?? I hope
that the answer will be a new start in 2005.
I would estimate from their reported revenue loss of $70,000.00 that
this represents about a 700 person drop in attendance. The average
attendance was probably around 3000 annually making it a 25% approx.
decrease in one year. It may be that 21 years of effort have taken their
toll and that the events of 2003 have brought them to the breaking
point. I sincerely hope not.
I'd be interested in knowing what the reaction from the Victoria business
community / Chamber of Commerce is to the festival cancellation. Are they
stepping up with solutions to the reason(s) for the cancellation, or do they
even care? Do they see the cancellation of the festival as a hit on the
local economy (unbooked hotel rooms, empty restaurants, etc.)?
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