Money to help Fort Langley jazz fest expand its Indigenous initiatives

‘The biggest ever’ 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival kicked off with annual Mardi Gras Strolling Parade through the village. The two-day event featured 60 concerts, more than 300 performers, and dozens of family friendly activities, including a new Indigenous component. (Langley Advance Times files)‘The biggest ever’ 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival kicked off with annual Mardi Gras Strolling Parade through the village. The two-day event featured 60 concerts, more than 300 performers, and dozens of family friendly activities, including a new Indigenous component. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘The biggest ever’ 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival kicked off with annual Mardi Gras Strolling Parade through the village. The two-day event featured 60 concerts, more than 300 performers, and dozens of family friendly activities, including a new Indigenous component. (Langley Advance Times files)‘The biggest ever’ 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival kicked off with annual Mardi Gras Strolling Parade through the village. The two-day event featured 60 concerts, more than 300 performers, and dozens of family friendly activities, including a new Indigenous component. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘The biggest ever’ 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival kicked off with annual Mardi Gras Strolling Parade through the village. The two-day event featured 60 concerts, more than 300 performers, and dozens of family friendly activities, including a new Indigenous component. (Langley Advance Times files)‘The biggest ever’ 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival kicked off with annual Mardi Gras Strolling Parade through the village. The two-day event featured 60 concerts, more than 300 performers, and dozens of family friendly activities, including a new Indigenous component. (Langley Advance Times files)
Karen Zukas is executive director of the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival. (Special to Langley Advance Times)Karen Zukas is executive director of the Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
‘The biggest ever’ 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival kicked off with annual Mardi Gras Strolling Parade through the village. The two-day event featured 60 concerts, more than 300 performers, and dozens of family friendly activities, including a new Indigenous component. (Langley Advance Times files)‘The biggest ever’ 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival kicked off with annual Mardi Gras Strolling Parade through the village. The two-day event featured 60 concerts, more than 300 performers, and dozens of family friendly activities, including a new Indigenous component. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘The biggest ever’ 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival kicked off with annual Mardi Gras Strolling Parade through the village. The two-day event featured 60 concerts, more than 300 performers, and dozens of family friendly activities, including a new Indigenous component. (Langley Advance Times files)‘The biggest ever’ 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival kicked off with annual Mardi Gras Strolling Parade through the village. The two-day event featured 60 concerts, more than 300 performers, and dozens of family friendly activities, including a new Indigenous component. (Langley Advance Times files)

For the second time in a row, the Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival has received funding from Metro Vancouver.

The $5,000 project grant will help the four-year-old cultural organization present its second Indigenous exhibition next year.

The exhibitions are part of the annual festival.

Earlier this year, the non-profit festival society had its first-ever Indigenous arts and cultural exhibition featuring Kwantlen First Nation artists. With the help of the funding they will be able to invite more First Nation communities to the 2023 festival, said Karen Zukas, co-founder and executive director of the jazz fest.

“The inaugural exhibition was very well received and was very popular at this year’s festival,” said Zukas.

“Using the Metro Vancouver funds, we have plans to expand it [the exhibition],” she continued.

Like last year, this time the Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival is the only Langley-based recipient of the grant.

Previously, Metro Vancouver funded $10,000 towards the jazz festival’s Big Band Swing community concert and other events, which were delayed and held this year due to the pandemic.

“We are very grateful and appreciate the funding from Metro Vancouver,” said Zukas.

RELATED: Fort Langley Jazz and Arts Festival nominated for Canadian Live Music Industry Awards

In total, Metro Vancouver has awarded $300,000 in regional cultural project grants to support the work of 55 local arts and culture organizations.

Metro Vancouver doubled the grant fund for the second year in a row – usually distributing $150,000.

The additional funds came through the provincial COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant for local government initiative.

Sav Dhaliwal, chair of the Metro Vancouver board of directors, congratulated the recipients.

“I am delighted that Metro Vancouver is able to offer even more support for a sector that provides so much enjoyment and benefit to our residents and visitors,” Dhaliwal said.

“This year’s regional cultural project grant recipients are representative of a local arts community that is increasingly diverse and culturally rich,” he added.

In total, Metro Vancouver received 106 applications from organizations seeking nearly $950,000 in funding for proposed projects.

In the last five years, the total number of applications received for cultural grants each year has nearly doubled, shared Lisa Muri, chair of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Culture Committee.

Zukas congratulated all the recipients and expressed her gratitude to Metro Vancouver.

READ MORE: LETTER: Jazz Fest organizers appreciative of how community came together

While funding was “much-needed” support, Zukas expects more money to flow through sponsorships and donations for the 2023 festival and other cultural events.

She also highlighted the “increasing competition” for funding due to a sudden resurgence of festivals and cultural events post-pandemic.

“We are competing for artists, stage, labour and more… and most importantly the attention of people.” Zukas commented.

She noted that the competitiveness has also led to increasing costs for procuring resources. And hence, such funding opportunities are necessary for today’s time, she concluded.

Cultural organizations can sign up for Metro Vancouver’s mailing list by visiting maxguide.org to receive information about future cultural grants and other regional arts and culture notifications.

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