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Can Vancouver Folk Music Festival be saved? Organizers exploring new options

Folk Festival kicks off in Vancouver

The fate of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival isn't sealed just yet, according to organizers.

The festival's board revealed Thursday that several interested parties have come forward with proposals to help keep the annual event alive, and that members are exploring all options.

"This is very encouraging and the board is actively engaging with these parties to see how these possibilities might be turned into reality," reads an update on the festival's website.

"At this stage in our discussions, we must keep the details confidential."

The board has also pushed back its Annual General Meeting – during which members were expected to vote to dissolve the Vancouver Folk Music Festival Society – from Feb. 1 to March 1.

Last week's announcement of the festival's cancellation was a major blow to the event's many fans, some of whom have been attending for decades.

Board president Mark Zuberbuhler blamed "massively increased costs" for the 2022 event's failure to break even, despite years of anticipation after the 2020 and 2021 festivals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dissolving the society would have allowed organizers to pay off the festival's remaining bills.

In Thursday's update, the board revealed the event's financial situation has "long been untenable," which it blamed in part on the Vancouver Folk Music Festival's long-established opposition to corporate funding.

"As views began to change on this, it became apparent that we were far behind the curve in building relationships with potential corporate funders in comparison to other festivals," the board wrote.

"We know that these relationships take years to build before substantial funding can be secured."

Should the festival continue, organizers said they would ensure it is "sustainable and able to operate in the new reality that we face." Top Stories

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