Photo: Julie-Anne Madore

TD Ottawa Jazz Festival Volunteers,

My dear friends,

By now of course you know that the City of Ottawa has put a moratorium on events and public gatherings from now until June 30, 2020. Of course that means the cancellation of the 40th anniversary birthday of the jazz festival. It is devastating news of course – for all us who work here year round, for the artists, the production and technical staff, for all the partners we have and perhaps most importantly, for you – the very heart and soul of the festival – our beloved volunteers.

For the last 23 years, the greatest joy I have during the festival is spending time with you – those moments at the gates, or the beer tents, or managing line ups and the many other jobs that make up the festival from picking up garbage to arranging the stages to picking up artists at the airports. The festival runs like a smooth machine because of YOU! Because of your commitment and love of the event and the joy you bring with you to each and every shift, our festival is one of the best loved events of all of them in Ottawa.

I really can’t imagine what it will be like not seeing you this summer! I will miss all of you, my old friends and my new. John Cvetan, our Volunteer Coordinator, and I will certainly keep you up to date on any and all news related to the festival and any new plans. At the moment, we’re not planning a new festival in the fall, it’s just too complicated and the future is still a big unknown. But, I promise you this: we WILL have a 40th anniversary celebration of our beautiful festival and we will do it in Confederation Park! We just have to wait until 2021 to do it!

In the meantime, please call or email me at any time with your questions or just to check in.

Until we can share the music together again,

I remain most sincerely,

Catherine O’Grady
Executive Producer