The Gabriola Arts Council is suspending its Cultivate Festival for 2020. (Kelsey McLean/Black Press)

Gabriola Arts Council suspends Cultivate music and theatre festival for 2020

Group will focus on getting human and financial resources in place for 2021 return

There will be no 2020 edition of the Gabriola Arts Council’s Cultivate music and theatre festival.

The GAC made the announcement this week, with executive director Michelle Benjamin assuring that “the decision to not do a festival in 2020 is entirely based on a commitment to doing it in 2021.”

Benjamin said that although this summer’s event broke even financially and appeared to run smoothly, “we didn’t really have all of the pieces under control.”

“At the end of this festival, while we had a very jubilant feeling of celebration because it was a successful festival in so many ways, we also realized that we had stretched beyond capacity,” she said.

During the interregnum, Benjamin said the GAC will put together a steering committee dedicated to ensuring that the human and financial resources are in place to keep the festival sustainable. She said the GAC would “love” to find at least one significant corporate sponsor and hopes to improve areas around logistics and volunteer recruitment.

“We need more time to get it absolutely right,” Benjamin said. “Let’s pause, let’s give it some more time, but let’s not lose the whole event.”



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