Nakusp Roots Music Society says Music Fest lost money for three years

Society responsible for overseeing the festival facing lawsuits, hopes to reinvent the festival for 2013

A spokesperson for the Nakusp Roots Music Society says they’re not yet ready to do any interviews about the cancellation of the 2012 Nakusp Music Festival.

Society spokesperson Donna Rebman declined requests for an interview from the Arrow Lakes News, instead issuing a statement about the festival on Feb. 6.

She said that ticket sales at the 2011 festival were down by 1,200 tickets, leaving the society with “a huge deficit.” Rebman also said the festival lost money in 2009 and 2010. “[We] felt that the festival was an integral part of our community, so we struggled forward,” she said.

“During the past months, as a volunteer board we have worked diligently trying to find a solution, not only to repay our creditors, but to continue on with the festival for 2012,” said Rebman. “One final effort in December (and) January fell through and we, as a board, made an extremely difficult decision for the society not to proceed with the 2012 festival specifically due to the outstanding debt and having no funds for start-up costs.”

Rebman said that 87 per cent of ticket sales and about 75 per cent of their volunteers came from outside of the Arrow Lakes area, and its absence would create an economic impact on the community.

She said that the society is hopes to bring back the festival in 2013, but that effort “must involve the community, other non-profit and/or for-profit organizations.”

Rebman said that the board was thankful for suggestions and ideas brought forward by community members in a September, 2011 brainstorming session.

Meanwhile, court documents indicate the society is facing legal action from creditors in Provincial Small Claims court. Both Nakusp Springs Bottling Co. and Kuskanax Lodge 682523 Alberta Ltd. filed claims against the Nakusp Roots Music Society in late 2011.