5 Festival Facts (Part 1):
Learn more about TD supported music festivals you love!
published June 29th, 2016

Since 2003, TD has actively supported the creation and performance of music across Canada. Millions of Canadians attend TD sponsored music festivals each year, including some of the largest and longest-running international jazz, folk and diverse music fests in the country.

Three of those festivals – the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival, and TD Halifax Jazz Festival – turn 30 this year, while most celebrate even larger milestones. Winnipeg Jazz is the youngest at 27.

Each of these major music festivals is well established and loved by their communities. All present topnotch musicians from around the globe. But what makes each distinct? What’s behind the anniversary numbers? We asked festival representatives to share some lesser-known facts about themselves.

Festival season is officially in high gear. Learn more about seven fests you love in this two-part series!

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TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival

1. “People can see over half of the Festival for free! Out of the 88 shows that we produce, 44 are presented totally free of charge to the public.”

2. “A hometown 7-piece ‘funk orchestra’ has been the most frequent band on the Jazz Winnipeg stage, playing 16 times since the year 2000.” 

3.
“Artists have been known to show up at the volunteer wrap party to take to the stage, making for some pretty memorable and magical moments.”

4.
“Over 300 volunteers make the Festival happen, helping out with everything from transportation and hospitality to photography and our enviro crew.”

5.
“The Jazz Festival's posters aren't just nice to look at - they're award winning!”

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TD Toronto Jazz Festival

1.
“The first edition of the Festival was in 1987, with just three official venues. Today, the Festival spans over 40 venues across the city, with just about every legendary name in jazz presented.”

2.
“The Festival has become one of the Toronto’s largest music festivals, attracting over 400,000 people annually. Over the past 29 years, the Festival has entertained over 10.5 million people.”

3.
“Since its inception, the Festival has hosted over 32,000 artists, presented over 3,200 free public concerts and contributed more than $560 million in economic benefits to Toronto.” 

4.
“In 2010, over 30,000 people turned up at Yonge-Dundas Square as we presented a free concert to close out our 24th edition.”

5.
“More than 1500 musicians will perform over 350 concerts this year. Whatever flavour of jazz you enjoy –plus blues, R&B, gospel, rock and more - find it at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival this summer!”

Photos by Brent Lewin

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SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival

1.
“55 per cent of our performances are straight ahead jazz [versus jazz influenced music].”

2.
“The first Festival took place in Saskatoon during the summer of 1987. 1.2 million people have attended since.”

3.
“Today, it has become the second-largest festival of its kind in Western Canada.”

4.
“60 per cent of performers are local or from elsewhere in Saskatchewan.”

5.
“The Jazz Festival contributes roughly 7 million dollars in economic impact to Saskatoon annually.”

To commemorate the Festival, #SaskJazz created a
30th Anniversary feature, including archival photos and posters, video interviews, their special Celebrating 30 Years video and more.

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TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival


1. “Savvy locals can have an amazing time at the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival and never pay a cent because there are over 50 free sets presented, free weekday shows, and more.”

2.
“The biggest crowd we ever drew for a single show was for a free performance by a certain funky, U.S.-based B3 trio at Gastown Jazz. The packed crowd stretched back four city blocks from the stage.”

3.
“More than 800 wonderful volunteers make sure our concerts happen annually. Lots have been with us since day one.”

4.
“All of our sites are diesel and gas-free. Our food service providers use compostable plates and utensils, we have a bike valet area, and provide water-filling stations to reduce our environmental impact.”

5.
“We once staged an 8-hour performance for 60 musicians.”


Return to TDMusic.com for part two of this series, featuring the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, TD Halifax Jazz Festival and Calgary Folk Music Festival.