While we cannot gather for a 2020 Festival this year, we can still celebrate what the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival means to our community. Festival Tales showcases stories and memories from people who love our Festival—artists, volunteers, audiences, staff, donors, and community members.

This is a collection of those stories that have personal reflections and happy memories.

One of the cutest photos we have received is tied to this story from one of our volunteers, Fumiko Sawada:

I volunteered for the festival about 5-6 years ago, 2 years in a row. I used to sing jazz in Japan (I still do when I go back to Japan), and got involved in local jazz festivals back home, so participating the jazz festival as a volunteer reminded me of fond memories from home country, and it was such a special experience for me. I have been busy since my boys were born, but we always enjoy going to the outdoor stages during the festival. My son, Ayato loves dancing to the music, and I enjoy watching him dance and humming along the singers.

Ayato at David Lam Park

A reflection from Cory Weeds:

Having first been a fan, then a musician, followed by a five year stint as an employee, there are too many incredible memories to choose from. The thing I love about what the jazz festival creates is the buzz and electricity in the city. The Coastal office is buzzing, the venues are buzzing, the musicians have an extra skip in their step and the fans are excited. It’s a palpable excitement that is so wonderful and it’s all in the name of jazz. It’s really the best time of year.

A testament to what can happen when you’re up for a new adventure, from volunteer Joni Miller:

I was part of the stage crew at David Lam Park. The stage manager asked if I would like to run the lights! I jumped at the chance and has a fun evening making the lights dance to the music. They even said I did a good job. Can’t wait to get another chance at it!

Some fond memories from donor Joel Kaplan:

Year after year the events at the TDVIJF have brought us a sense of community and a love for many different genres of blues, jazz, etc. We have always been music lovers. Having this quality level of events both paid and free for a 2 week period of time in the summer is great. We typically plan to be in town for all of the time so that we don’t miss the Festival. We have so many good times at some many different venues. It is hard to pick any one! We do recall loving the venue down on Water Street and jamming on the streets with all stripes of people and genres of music on both stages on both ends of the street.

And lastly, a happy story from volunteer Lindsey Lorence:

In 2019 it was my first time volunteering with the Jazz Festival and it was the greatest. I tried a wide variety of shifts. My best memory is from being an usher at Granville Island on Canada Day. The band playing the evening of Canada Day had everyone dancing and it was a beautiful thing!