Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival is set to return in-person.
This is the first year since the pandemic started, in 2019, Dave Quinn and Karen Zukas, founders, have planned to have the jazz festival fully in-person.
“It’s been hard with COVID. In 2019 we planned the big in-person event and then boom, COVID hit and we transitioned to an online streaming event,” said Quinn.
The festival in 2020 was online, and both online and in-person in 2021, but that didn’t stop the community from enjoying the music.
“We had thousands of viewers over the weekend take in the online shows,” Zukas said.
The next festival from July 21 to 24 is set to be in person, and local artists are being call on to apply to perform.
Applications for the 2022 festival opened Oct. 1, and close Dec. 31.
“It’s quite remarkable. We already have about two to three dozen applications. What’s interesting is we’re seeing applications from straight-ahead jazz and with rhythm and blues bands to western swing music and Latin jazz. It really is amazing,” said Quinn.
The festival puts a focus on local emerging artists from the Lower Mainland, with a few exceptions.
“We’ve actually seen applications from France. One year, we had a performer from Spain,” added Quinn.
This year, a total of 46 applicants will be chosen to perform in the four-day event.
The festival will have four stages of free music on Saturday and Sunday, one in front of the community hall with music, a kids zone on Mary Street with music and family activities, an arts zone at the picnic area outside the historic site with music and art activities, and an Indigenous zone with culture, art and music.
In addition, there will be headliner outdoor ticketed shows Friday through Sunday evening and performances at Chief Sepass Theatre.
“The big blues show will be returning. It’s really magical to have an outdoor blues show, and we’re really excited for that,” Quinn said.
People who perform various genres of jazz are encouraged to apply.
“We are a jazz festival but are open to a diversity of jazz music. People with music talent in genres other than jazz, are encouraged to apply.
People wanting to apply can submit their applications online. A video of a performance, photo and brief biography are required.
“We’re really excited for this festival. We can’t wait to be back in person, and hear the music in real life,” Zukas added.