On behalf of everyone at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, we hope that you, your family, and your loved ones are keeping well during these difficult times. Our thoughts are with those who are dealing with the pandemic on the front lines and those whose lives and businesses have been thrown into uncertainty by the sudden changes.

Our team has been working non-stop to conceive how we might be able to present a Festival in 2020, but over the past month, as the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated it has become clear that it is not going to be possible to do so. With the support and advice of our board of directors, we have made the hugely disappointing decision to cancel this year’s Festival.

Although our city, province, and country will face many more important challenges during the coming month, we want to acknowledge that the Festival plays a large role in the cultural, economic, and social lives of many in our community. We are so sorry that we’ve had to take this unprecedented step, but we are determined that when it’s safe to do so, we’ll be back.

Like many others in our sector, this cancellation causes the Festival significant financial challenges. We are working closely with our family of public funders, our title sponsor TD, our private donors, and corporate partners to secure the Festival’s survival through this perilous period, and we thank them all for their ongoing support. If you have purchased a ticket to any shows that were on sale, we will be in touch with instructions to receive a refund, or donate the cost of your ticket to Coastal Jazz.

We look forward to a time when physical distancing is a thing of the past, and we can once again gather to experience the live moments of unrepeatable musical genius that power our Festival. Please keep in touch with us via social media to keep up to date with what we’re working on. Until then, please keep safe and thank you for your good thoughts.

The TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival team


Why don’t you just postpone the event?

As you may know, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is not your average summer festival. Rather than one large weekend site, we take place at 30+ venues across the city. This variation is our strength and our joy, but it’s also a source of uncertainty. All of our venues are facing the same economic uncertainty that we are, and we can’t be certain that fall rebookings will be available to us at the rates we’ve enjoyed, or at all. For venues that are able to re-open, it is unclear if they will be permitted to run at full capacity. We are not even sure when small gatherings and travel will be allowed—let alone large ones like Downtown Jazz Weekend or David Lam Park Jazz Weekend. We simply don’t know a safe date to postpone to.

Beyond that, our audiences and sponsors have many concerns generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Festival is not confident in assuming that our budgets and projections would hold true for a rebooked festival. The economic uncertainty is just too great at this point.

If we were to put all of our efforts into running a scaled-back 2020 edition of the Festival at a later date, one thing we know for sure is that our 2021 Festival would suffer, in both the quality and scope you have come to expect from us, if we were to try to produce two festivals in an eight-month window.

We’re fully committed to having a kick-ass Festival in 2021, and to supporting our musical community through a variety of efforts in the fall and winter of 2020/21. What that looks like right now we’re not sure, but it could included streamed concerts, an expanded year-round concert series featuring some of the artists slated to appear at the 2020 Festival, an expansion of our Winter Jazz series, or something completely different.

How will this impact the Festival?

The short answer is that we don’t yet know. We are very grateful to our federal, provincial, and municipal funders, our title sponsor TD, and our other stakeholders for indicating that we’re all in this together and they are willing to work with us to get through this. We are confident we can weather this storm and return in full force in 2021.

I purchased a ticket but would like to donate it and receive a charitable tax receipt instead. How do I do this? 

Thank you so much for your generosity in this time! You will receive an email from us with further instructions. We’ll send further information to the email you used to purchase your ticket.

I made a donation in anticipation of receiving benefits this Festival. Can you help me?

First of all, thank you for your support! We will extend donor benefits for anyone who donated to us from July 2019 until July 2021, so you can take advantage of our great donor services.

I would like a refund for my ticket purchase, how do I get one?

You will receive an email from us letting you know your options. Please check the email you used to purchase your ticket.

Will artists who were booked for the 2020 edition of the Festival return next year?

It would not be overstating the case to say the entire music ecosystem has been turned upside down by the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, artists are rescheduling tours into next summer, and may or may not be available to us. Agencies representing artists have had to make the difficult decision to lay off many agents; re-negotiating performances may no longer be possible. With venues, labels, tour support, and tour funding all in flux, it is not possible to confirm who will be willing to tour and who we will be able to book again at this time.

That said, the Festival will do its best to put together a line up in 2021 that is a mix of artists we were already excited to showcase this June, as well as brand new artist announcements.

What about the community?

Supporting our artists, venues, and partners is currently our top priority.

We are committed to using our voice through our social media accounts to highlight the amazing artists who were set to perform this summer and make people aware of their initiatives to get through this uncertain time; letting people know about our venues and sponsors and what is up with them; and to financially supporting artists, staff, and contractors as best we can at this time.

We are currently working through various ideas of what else we can do to draw attention to the incredible creativity, community spirit, and resilience that thrives in our Festival and its adjacent activities.

If you have any other questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at [email protected]
We’re all working remotely, but we’re still here, planning for the future. If you don’t already, please follow us @coastaljazz on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and sign up for our email newsletter at coastaljazz.ca to keep abreast of the latest.

Please take care and stay safe.