John Orysik, Media Director, Vancouver International Jazz Festival

This afternoon, on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery, TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival organizers announced the relocation of the jazz festival’s free opening weekend—June 23 and 24—to the heart of Vancouver’s downtown core, on the historic grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery and Robson Square. Building on the incredible legacy of creativity, community celebration, and innovative spirit unleashed by the 2010 Olympics, the Festival will create an “arts and music village” on the site.

Vancouver Jazz Festival Announcement-6

There will be three live performance stages, a family zone with activities for kids, a community fair, art installations, an artisan and food market, two outdoor licensed bistros, busker entertainment, free dance classes and much more.

Fatima Amarshi, Executive Director, Coastal Jazz and Blues Society
[Fatima Amarshi, Executive Director, Coastal Jazz and Blues Society]

“Over the last 26 years, the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society has been an integral part of Vancouver’s arts and cultural scene, nurturing and showcasing the great artistic talents this city has in abundance on an international stage. Nowhere is this more apparent than through our flagship event – the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival – which has grown into an iconic event that is at the heart of BC’s busy summer festival season. We are delighted to situate the festival in the heart of the city and show off Vancouver and the incredible music within it in a manner that it truly deserves”, according to Fatima Amarshi, Executive Director of the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society.

“The Vancouver Jazz Festival is not only an event that showcases our beautiful city, our artistic population and our status as a world class destination, it’s also a huge economic generator for the province”, according to Premier Christy Clark. “This exciting move cements Jazz Fest as a must-see attraction in one of downtown’s most vibrant and central locations.”

Vancouver City Councillor Heather Deal
[Vancouver City Councillor Heather Deal]

Relocating from Gastown to the heart of the city is in keeping with the burgeoning stature of the Festival both locally and internationally. A world acclaimed event that draws over half a million attendees, the Festival is also a huge boost to the economy, generating over $35 million annually in financial activity. By being centrally situated, the Festival will increase its visibility, accessibility, and inclusivity for a wider range of residents and visitors in order to enhance the city’s position as a major cultural destination.

Charles Gauthier, Executive Director, Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association
[Charles Gauthier, Executive Director, Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association]

“Staging the opening weekend downtown puts the festival ‘centre stage’ in the heart of our vibrant city,” says Charles Gauthier, Executive Director of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association. “The millions of dollars the festival generates is vital to our local economy and our local member businesses. Downtown Jazz is proof that downtown can – and should – continue to foster large-scale, safe and fun events,” he says. “Our association has worked closely with organizers to ensure this move adds to the vitality of our downtown and can be part of a long- term sustainable growth strategy for the festival.”

This is an exciting, transformative shift for both the Jazz Festival and the City of Vancouver. The Festival has long enjoyed an international reputation for exceptional, innovative programming and a hospitable, joyous atmosphere.

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