Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jazz Funding Woes Continue

Wow! This is a big one, but not a surprise given the climate in the auto industry.

The Festival International de Jazz de Montreal has lost General Motors as its title sponsor. Under contract, GM will still be onboard for 2009, but the festival is searching for a new corporate investor for 2010 and beyond.

FIJM is such a strong brand that it will be very interesting – and telling – to see how quickly it can replace GM. I have no doubt that they will, but it's a terrible environment in which to launch this kind of search.

UPDATE: I had a chance to speak with FIJM founder and president Alain Simard for a DownBeat piece on the funding issue, and not surprisingly he was upbeat about having a new presenting sponsor in place to announce at the 2009 edition of the festival. As the central player in a city that bills itself – with justification – as "city of festivals," FIJM is in an enviable position among cultural events that count on funding at every political level as well as from major corporations.

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