Brandon Jazz Festival Board of Directors Dissolves Society

The Brandon Jazz Festival Incorporated board of directors voted to dissolve the corporation, but the festival will continue into next year.

The company’s resilience in the face of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led the board to make the decision.

They had been discussing the disbandment since last spring, former executive director Brent Campbell said. They had weighed the pros and cons and proceeded to a formal vote last fall.

“The fact that we haven’t been able to organize a festival for three years made us think that it was time for us to disband and hand it over to someone else to organize it,” he said. -he declares. “I wasn’t sure we could ever return to the model we had enjoyed for so many years with so many bands in attendance, and it seemed like a major change in format was needed. The board felt that another entity would be best suited to take an event like this in a new direction.”

Campbell added that he had personally considered stepping down and letting someone else take over his role before that vote took place.

In 2020, they were forced to cancel just 10 days before the festival started. Then they were forced to cancel again in 2021 and now in 2022. It seemed like the right time to do so, as the festival had to cancel the event for the third year in a row.

However, the show will continue into 2023. Brandon University has agreed to take over the administration and management of a new event with a new format.

“It’s a natural passing of the torch because the festival took place on the university campus and many members of the public thought the university was already hosting the festival,” Campbell said.

This will give the university plenty of time to develop a new format for the festival, he said.

A press release said Greg Gatien, dean of the Brandon University School of Music, and jazz and contemporary popular music faculty members Eric Platz, Marika Galea and Ken Gold will be responsible for the new event. .

Held annually on the third weekend in March, the festival began in 1983 as an educational event for students. Bands were brought in from Manitoba, Ontario and the United States to lead workshops, have bands perform and be judged by genre experts.

Campbell said that looking at archived programs, he calculates that between 13,000 and 14,000 students attended the festival. He added that they were missing a program, but a member of the public showed up with a copy and their archive is now complete.

The release also says the society and its members would like to thank all of the many directors, bands, judges and performers for their support since 1983, when the festival began with 12 bands and two judges, Phil Nimmons and Don Clark.

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Willie J. Johnson