Vancouver International Jazz Festival 2012 Comes to Robson Square

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The Downtown Vancouver Business Association  announced today 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 with three live performance stages, 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.

This move is a good first step taken by the city to bring more life to the city’s core.

“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 agship 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 o Vancouver and the incredible music within it in a manner that it truly deserves” says 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, “ said Premier Christy Clark. “This exciting move cements Jazz Fest as a must-see attraction in one of downtown’s most vibrant and central locations.”

“The City of Vancouver is proud to once again host this popular, festive event that draws thousands of locals and visitors alike,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The 27th Annual TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival not only brings great music to our public spaces and performance venues, it also reects how important arts and culture are to the strength of our local economy and the vibrancy of our city. We are excited that Downtown Jazz Weekend is a new part of the Festival this year in a location that is sure to attract thousands of music fans.”

Re-locating 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 economic driver generating over $35 million in economic activity for the region annually. By being centrally situated, the Festival increases its visibility, accessibility and inclusivity for a wider range of residents and visitors and enhances the city’s position as a major cultural destination.

“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 longterm sustainable growth strategy for the festival.”

This is an exciting, transformative shift for our event and the City of Vancouver. The Festival has long enjoyed an international reputation for exceptional, innovative programming and a hospitable, joyous atmosphere. Now, within a terric new context and in a grand manner, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is set to deliver opportunities for audiences and artists to experience and share the live moment of unrepeatable genius, which is the dening feature of jazz.

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