New Music Edmonton Now Hear This Festival 2020 Cancelled

March 19 - March 22, 2020 Multiple Venues
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Now Hear This 2020 Cancelled

Dear NME friends and supporters,

I am writing with the sad news that New Music Edmonton is officially cancelling our forthcoming festival, Now Hear This- Ninth Annual Festival of New Music. After much discussion within the organization, and with many of the festival’s scheduled artists, it has become clear that cancellation is our best response to the difficult situation we are all facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, our Board of Directors voted unanimously to cancel the festival and I endorse this decision. It is our hope that in cancelling, we are contributing what we can to a community-wide movement that is about prevention rather than reaction.

On behalf of New Music Edmonton, I extend my thanks and deepest admiration to the dozens of artists who were scheduled to perform next week, and who have already been informed of our decision: anyone who has seen the lineup for Now Hear This will know what I mean when I tell you how much I was looking forward to enjoying the shows and outreach events. It’s an astonishing collection of amazing voices!
New Music Edmonton is committed to fair, equitable treatment of all. As such, I want to assure the artists and our audiences that, as we do the tricky work of cancelling and unmaking the festival, our highest priority will be finding a meaningful, fair means of helping the artists through this very late cancellation by way of compensation or postponement. For some of them, the cancellation of Now Hear This is only one of many cancellations they are navigating.

By the same token, we are also committed to making sure all of our temporary and permanent staff will receive full compensation for the hours they have already put into the festival.

Finally, please join me today in giving some thought to the countless volunteer hours that have gone into Now Hear This up to this point. The NME Board of Directors, in particular, is really at the core of this, donating their time to making sure that the many moving parts of the festival work. The Board’s tireless, collaborative and skilled approach to planning and publicizing Now Hear This has been deeply inspiring and humbling. They ask for nothing in return for this quiet, yet invaluable contribution to New Music Edmonton.

Thank you to all of them: Allison Balcetis (President), Scott Smallwood (Vice President), Vanessa Rae Gemmell (Secretary), Caitlin Sian Richards (Treasurer), George Andrix, Emilie LeBel, Kelly Ruth and Ben Whittier.

Also, thank you to the ongoing, core work of our staff, General Manager Chenoa Anderson and Production Manager Nico Arnaez.
To all in the Edmonton community and beyond, thank you for your years of support and encouragement for the work being done at New Music Edmonton. We will be back with more music for you as soon as possible.

Ian Crutchley, Artistic Director, New Music Edmonton

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