The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)

39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July in Duncan hope to return to hosting at least some live musical events in Charles Hoey Park this year, but a lot depends on what the social-distancing health protocols will be by the time the festival begins on June 25.

Speaking to Duncan council on May 3, “Longevity” John Falkner and Rick Martinson, from the Duncan-Cowichan Festival Society, said there is currently still a lot of uncertainty about hosting large events with big crowds.

But he said, if possible, the society is hoping to set up a stage in Charles Hoey Park as in the past, fence in the area, and limit the number of people allowed to attend a show to 50.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN’S 39 DAYS OF JULY DEEMED A SUCCESS, DESPITE COVID-19

“We don’t usually get large numbers in the day time during the festival, and we’ll have volunteers on hand to ensure that safety protocols are being observed,” Falkner said.

“In the evenings, the number of people can reach up to 200 in the park, so we would take the performances back to the Duncan Showroom. We’ll only do what the health authorities will allow. We’ll also live-stream the performances at the park and at the Showroom.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the society had to cancel all the outdoor musical events that were planned primarily for venues in Charles Hoey Park and City Square in Duncan last year, and live-stream the entire 39 days of performances from the Duncan Showroom, which Falkner operates.

The city has granted $10,000 towards the festival this year, and Falkner said the funding will be allocated to stage performances and promotion.

RELATED STORY: 39 DAYS OF JULY TRANSITIONS TO ONLINE SHOWS FOR 2020

He said the annual Grande Parade that is usually held during the 39 Days of July will be cancelled for the second year due to the pandemic, but the society is planning on a virtual parade that is already garnering interest.

Coun. Garry Bruce congratulated Falkner and Martinson for their tenacity for holding the music festival last year, despite the complications brought on by the pandemic.

“You did a great job and did not lose focus,” he said.

“I’m in full support of the festival this year, as long as it’s done in recognition of the health protocols.”

Coun. Tom Duncan said he has been in support of the 39 Days of July since its inception 10 years ago, but he feels a lot of uncertainty about it this year on behalf of the city.

“We have to make sure there are no financial implications for us as we go through the next few months,” he said.

“I hope the festival is in a position to proceed, but I feel uneasy about it.”

Martinson said there are a number of grants that the society is still in the process of applying for, and reminded council that the society ended the festival in the black last year, largely because of grants.

“We also expect to get about $10,000 from the [festival] program, and we made almost $30,000 two years ago through passing the hat at the performances,” he said.

“Of course there will be smaller crowds this year, but those contributions are still important. The costs this year are down as well, partly cause there will be no parade so we won’t have the flagging and insurance costs. It cost us $125,000 to host the 39 Days of July two years ago and we’re budgeting $95,000 this year. We’ve been through the numbers and we believe it doable.”

Council voted to support, in principle, the society’s plans for the festival so far.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

music festivals

Just Posted

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

Tim Wilkinson, who will attempt a double anvil triathlon on Vancouver Island on July 3, poses with his training partner, Shadow, who has been dragged up and down the Nanaimo Parkway many times. (Submitted)
Vancouver Island triathlete takes on ‘double anvil’ for charity

7.6km swim, 360km bike ride, and 84.4km run, all within 36 hours

From left: Thomas Kuecks, David Lane, John Ivison, Denis Berger, Rod Gray, and James Kuecks are Cabin Fever. Catch their performance on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre website. (Ashley Foot photo)
A&E column: Music Festival winners, CVAC awards, and Cabin Fever

The latest from the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

6 years after a catastrophic earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal gets hit again

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Most Read