Whistler’s Jazz on the Mountain festival is in danger of not occurring this year, at least in the B.C. resort town, after municipal officials turned down an application from its founder for a $150,000 grant.
The three-day festival had its inauguration last September featuring ticketed performances by Kevin Eubanks, Spyro Gyra and the Gary Burton Quartet, among others. However, it incurred a deficit of more than $700,000 – the result, according to festival founder Arnold Schwisberg, of the Whistler municipality running advance ads for his festival under the “Whistler Presents” free concerts and events banner and bracketing the festival with its own free performances.
Schwisberg, who’s based in Markham, Ont., said in an interview Thursday he’s not prepared to invest in a second festival “given the magnitude of the loss” and Whistler’s refusal of support from its festivals, events and animation program. However, he noted that Jazz on the Mountain “was always conceived as a portable, multi-location brand” and he’s in “discussion with a number of communities” about putting on his event there. He declined to specify those cities or towns, but indicated “probably the leading community is in Ontario.”