Vancouver Folk Festival board restores society

There’s a glimmer of hope for the Vancouver Folk Music Festival (VFMF), with organizers saying the board has “voted to rescind the motion to dissolve the folk festival society.”

This is just the latest development since it was announced in mid January that the event would be cancelled in 2023 and possibly never return.

“A big thank you to the almost 300 people who joined us for the virtual town hall meeting last week,” an update from organizers on Monday, Feb. 6, reads. “The board will continue to take ideas and suggestions on ways to save the folk fest via the Thought Exchange tool.”

While the update is more of a positive one, the event isn’t totally in the clear yet.

“The outpouring of love for the festival unfortunately does not change the difficult financial situation we continue to face. The bottom line is that to build a sustainable festival we need funds – not just now, but secured funding streams that continue into the years to come,” the VFMF update explains.

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“So many festival and community members have told us they want our festival to survive. If the folk festival is going to survive and thrive, we need partnerships, we need sponsorships, and right now we need your donations. If you want to see this festival continue, now is the time to act.”

The festival has launched #FundTheFest, a fundraising campaign and volunteer drive to help it reach its goal. It has not stated just how much money is needed to be raised.

On Jan. 17, the festival said in a Facebook post that its team “came up against many challenges in 2022,” the first year the event was held after a two-year break due to COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, these issues have not eased over time and we have exhausted all possible solutions in our efforts to avoid canceling this year,” organizers explained.

However, more than a week later, organizers said a “groundswell” of support brought to light new funding options.

In an open letter dated Jan. 26, the VFMF said “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,” the letter added.

The VFMF did not share what exactly those funding options were.

-With files from Charlie Carey

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