Andrew Homzy

Andrew Homzy

Nanaimo association creating jazz festival

Nanaimo International Jazz Festival Association plans to host festival next year in September.

Nanaimo jazz musician Andrew Homzy has a dream of creating a jazz festival in Nanaimo that will become a destination event which features both local and international jazz artists.

During a launch event held Thursday evening in the Port Theatre’s lobby, Homzy shared his vision and that of the other board members of the newly formed Nanaimo International Jazz Festival Association.

“We have so much to celebrate. We have so much history. We have so many great musicians,” said Homzy.

He said the association hopes to run the festival next September. Cities like Victoria and Vancouver have held jazz festivals for years, said Homzy, adding that Nanaimo’s festival isn’t meant to compete with other already-established events.

“We are going to do something unique to Nanaimo,” he said.

Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay welcomed the announcement and said music is like the nectar of life.

“It’s like water. It’s like air…” he said. “It energizes us. It takes us to different places. It reminds us of our family and our friends and our loved ones. It reminds us of exotic places we have been to,” said McKay.

During the event, the Nanaimo Hospitality Association announced it would present a cheque to the jazz organization for $20,800.

Goals of the association include creating a festival to be held in downtown Nanaimo and helping people to develop a greater appreciation of jazz and working with other festivals and organizations.

The organization is also seeking donations on its website. For more information, please go to www.nanaimojazzfest.ca.

arts@nanaimobulletin.com