Why an Interview,,,

Over the years we have been able to meet and talk with some very interesting people. They have shared with us their knowledge and have provided us with a great deal of insight as to how and why festivals and events work and why they are so important to our communities and to the Province of Ontario. With this in mind, we decided that we wanted you to meet and hear from some of the wonderful people who work so hard to provide us all with such wonderful Ontario Festivals and Events! We are pleased and proud to present "THE INSIDE SCOOP"!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jazz & Blues in the Village, Sarnia - The Biggest Challenge ...

“The Biggest Challenge” …

THE INSIDE SCOOP is fortunate to obtain interesting SCOOP from Donna Stewart, Jazz & Blues in the Village, Festival Director and the Committee continues …

I asked the Committee, “What are some of the challenges in organizing and presenting the Festival that the “visitors” do not see”? The reply … “Our biggest challenge is funding.  As a charity fundraiser we do not qualify for any art or tourism grants from local or provincial government sources.  It is difficult to compete with the free jazz and blues festivals around the province.  Most “visitors” find it hard to believe that we have to pay full scale plus expenses for the bands.  We rely on revenue from sponsors and ticket sales to cover our costs, plus generate funds for the charity.”  So how do they overcome some of these challenges? … “The last two years our marketing campaign has tried to focus on the fact that the event is a charity fundraiser.” How does Jazz & Blues in the Villagekeep things fresh” for the patrons and vendors? “We always try to bring in new entertainers, although fan favourites have been brought back for repeat performances.  We try to address feedback related to our food vendors.  For example this year we have tried to partner with more local restaurants and provide healthier options. Each year we try to add in something new like cheese and cracker plates to go with the wine.” I asked if the Committee could share some “problem solving techniques” used during this special event! (For example … a busload of visitors that were not planned for, weather conditions, volunteers/staff being absent due to unforeseen emergencies, running out of “supplies” during an event, etc.) … The Committee says …“We have had to deal with all the above over the years and have contingency plans in place.” I would like to asked similar questions about organizational techniques, problems solving techniques with respect to coordinating the Vendors and Performers and other key participants during Jazz & Blues in the Village. They share with us …“We have individuals on the planning committee who are responsible for the following areas: Music, food vendors, marketing and promotion, sponsors and grounds.  During the festival each committee member oversees their particular area of responsibility dealing with any problems.”
(To Be Continued)

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