Vancouver Folk Festival revival is music to the ears of B.C.’s dedicated fans

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VANCOUVER — The long-running Vancouver Folk Festival is back for another year, less than two months after funding issues threatened to permanently cancel the event. 

A statement on the festival’s website says it will be held July 14 to 16 at its usual location in Vancouver’s Jericho Beach Park.

Last year’s scaled back festival will be used as a template to plan this year’s program, with fewer stages and amenities than were offered before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Directors of the 45-year-old festival announced plans in January to dissolve the society and cancel the show, saying soaring expenses and a lack of funds made it “untenable.”

Since then, the statement says new, substantial funding has been pledged and many volunteers have stepped up to organize and launch a revival.

The provincial government created a $30 million fund in February to support B.C.’s festivals and fairs.

When organizers announced the expected cancellation of the Folk Fest, they estimated $500,000 would be needed, just to cover 2023 expenses.

The society’s latest statement says other B.C. festivals have offered to help book acts and the folk festival’s new, larger board of directors brings “experience, passion, and commitment” and understands the “tremendous task” ahead.

“With hard work, the financial picture is more secure and, with other individuals stepping up to support the festival now, we will make it happen,” says the statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 15, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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