Thank you all!
Address by Jacques-André Dupont, CEO
Montreal, Saturday, July 8, 2017 — Impressive crowds, delighted fans and a passionate program… the 38th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal presented by TD Bank Group in collaboration with Rio Tinto concludes today on a note that’s equally positive and promising for the future. 2017 was a vintage edition of the Festival… and a smiling audience is all the motivation we need to do it all again next year!
From June 28 to July 8, the Festival’s outdoor site was packed non-stop, with many of our outdoor events drawing record crowds—a “sea of people” according to Sarah Blackwood of the band Walk Off the Earth. That stunning attendance allowed the Festival to attain its budget goals.
Certainly, our partnerships with Canada 150 and the Society of the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary gave us the financial means to create extraordinary events and amazing celebrations. As a pre-opening night, Sessions 375 offered the audience an unprecedented sample of local artists who’ve earned renown on the international stage. And on July 1, Discothèque unfolded 50 years of Canadian hits, proving that the entire country can come together musically from coast to coast to coast. Thanks to the additional means made available this year, the Festival was able to invest in special projects that had an impressive impact on raising the profile of artists and our city, as well as affecting attendance of the event. Fans from every background benefited, and the happiness level of our audience went through the roof!
The facts are undeniable: these investments are extremely profitable, and it’s absolutely essential to repeat this type of initiative. In the final analysis, the primary goal is to continue to grow the Festival’s cultural, social, tourism and economic spinoffs. Because if there is one mission that we hold dear, it is to improve everything we do year after year, at every level and from every perspective.
The major successes of this edition of the Festival included a new project we established in collaboration with the Conseil des Montréalaises: the “Hirondelles” (swallows). The project was inspired by our desire and concern to enhance the security and well-being of festival fans, especially women, members of the LGBTQ community and all those who may feel a sense of vulnerability during our events.
This project notably opened the door to constructive public discussions. Moreover, there were very few incidents reported during this edition, and many festival fans stated that they felt a sense of reassurance thanks to the measures we put in place. We remain nonetheless well aware that there is still a way to go, and that this initiative would benefit from being repeated every year. Beginning next year, we hope to improve the project, and we are thrilled to announce that a number of festivals have requested permission to take up the concept and logo that we conceived for the occasion. We were certainly delighted to agree.
And if the Festival can experience this level of popularity, it’s thanks to the invaluable partners who contribute to financing the event. Yes, the Festival’s free programming provides benefits for everyone, but we must remember that the free program comes with a cost, and without that essential support, none of this would be possible. Thanks to our three levels of government—the Governments of Canada, Québec and the Ville de Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, and our invaluable sponsors, including presenter TD Bank Group and co-presenter Rio Tinto, who have accompanied us for years and years, as well as all our partners and official suppliers.
Thanks also to all our Festival teams, who contributed to making this edition a success. Finally, this event remains enduringly impressive for its power to bring people together, drawing an incredibly diverse audience every year to assemble in our unique urban musical village…
After 38 years, we take the same admiration in watching this magnificent melting pot of people from all walks of life converge upon the Festival: people who would otherwise never find themselves in the same place, at the same time; youths having fun alongside seniors; music devotees assembling from the four corners of the Earth, speaking every language, as though the Festival were the United Nations of music. All in all, the true stars of the Festival are the Montrealers and guests from all over the world who seize the moment of Musical Now in a spirit of harmony, all assembled as one.
And so thanks to all our festival fans for joining us and being there, year after year. We already can’t wait for the next edition of the Festival, which will run from June 28 to July 7, 2018!
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