Calgary Folk Fest celebrates a successful show despite downturn
Artistic director Kerry Clarke said the organization was nervous, with slow initial ticket sales and the downturn in the economy, but crowds turned out at the gates to snap up last-minute tickets.
"There have been years where we've been sold out and sometimes people get into thinking that they can't get them at the gate, so we were really trying to spread the message that you could indeed get a ticket," she said.
According to Clarke, approximately 12,000 to 13,000 people attended the festival each day.
"Sponsorships are slightly down," she said. "They've been slightly down for the last two years. We have a lot of sponsors who say, 'We will be back.' They're just waiting for things to improve for them, and some of them have stuck it out."
'We plan to be around for another 37'
Despite those struggles with sponsorships and a high US dollar, Clarke said the festival, which has branched out in recent years to include year-round programming at its Festival Hall venue, managed to hit its artistic budget this year.
"We always try to be smart about what we do. We've grown into quite a large organization and we're really resilient. We've been around for 37 years, we plan to be around for another 37," she said.
"I don't think we've really taken a hit this year, and we try and be smart about how much we spend and how much we earn."