Vancouver Folk Festival’s ‘groundswell’ of support has board reviewing funding options

A Vancouver music institution is rethinking its plans to cancel this summer’s event, as a “groundswell” of support for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival (VFMF) has brought to light some new funding options.

Initially announcing the cancellation of the 2023 festival just 10 days ago, it looked like the annual event had seen its last crowd after 45 years of “magic.”

At that time, organizers said that decision came after facing numerous problems, including staffing challenges and cost increases — last year’s festival did not break even.

“Our VFMF Society simply does not have the resources to produce an event this year. The costs of the event, the cash-flow requirements, and our very limited budget for staff simply make it impossible. We postponed the decision for as long as we could as we strove to find a solution, but are at a point now where, even if the funding were to appear, we would not have time to pull the event together,” a statement from the festival’s board said on Jan. 17.

Related Article: 2023 Vancouver Folk Music Festival cancelled, possibly permanently

In an open letter Thursday, VFMF says after it gave notice that the festival may not come back, “Several parties have offered possible solutions to fund and support a Festival. This is very encouraging and the Board is actively engaging with these parties to see how these possibilities might be turned into reality.”

While not able to share what those funding options are, the festival has rescheduled its Annual General Meeting (AGM) to March 1 and is pausing the motion to dissolve the society while options to save the festival are explored.

“We all feel incredibly heartened by the response and truly thank you all for the outpouring of emotion and honest opinions,” VFMF said in the letter.

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