Nanaimo city council unanimously voted to grant the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival Association $10,000 at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 15.
Jazz Fest president Andrew Homzy said the funds will go toward the second annual festival happening this September, as well as an eight-concert series planned to begin in March in anticipation of the main event. Specifically the monies will support hiring staff and musicians and cover venue rentals and hotel fees. Organizers are also hoping to bring in a “world-class jazz headliner,” according to a press release.
“It’s encouraging to us. It gives us the incentive to move forward,” Homzy said of the city’s endorsement, later adding, “This is most financial support that has ever gone to jazz music in the Nanaimo area.”
He said his group originally requested $24,000 from the city, but this year’s grant is still more than double last’s years $4,000 grant for the inaugural celebration, which a festival association press release said attracted 3,000 attendees.
Homzy said the increase is partially due to the festival association applying for funding for three events – the festival and two concerts – while last year’s grant was just for the festival in general.
“We’ve been pleased with the support that we’ve got in the past and we’re looking to build that in the future.”