Jazz returns to the Old Fire Hall following the launch of new community funding model
Rumors are true, Jazz has returned to the Old Fire Hall in Rossland!
After many years languishing empty, the historic Fire Hall was filled with anticipation on November 14th as patrons awaited the return of the much loved Old Fire Hall Trio. Candlelight created dancing shadows on the timbers, reflections in the large windows, and as the first cords of jazz reached out to fill the Hall it illuminated the smiles of both those who remembered the space, and those experiencing it for the first time.
How this sold out community event came to life is a bit unconventional.
Appreciating the opportunity to requite the community’s requests for jazz events, event coordinator Amber Hayes met with local jazz legend Tony Ferraro to establish a tentative lineup of 10 Friday night performances between November and March to bring magic back to the Hall. The story now takes a turn.
Instead of gambling on whether the line-up, price and ideas were right and going straight to selling tickets per event, the organizer instead chose to ask the intended buyers first—and then schedule the event!
The jazz series was published online and using a locally-owned crowdfund platform. The community was invited to demonstrate interest in the project by purchasing passes for either 5 or 10 nights at a discount rate. The response was overwhelming, with the $6000 goal (representing 40 of the potential 100 attendees) being surpased by almost $1000 in under seven days. Yes – they wanted Jazz Nights.
And it gets better, because the project manager is a Community Contribution Company, 60% of profits generated through its business activities are returned to the community. This means the community not only benefits from the Jazz nights, but in buying their tickets they help support non-profit organizations through community contributions.
A rather Jazzy win win win way to launch a project!
Event organizer and co-founder of basincrowdsource.com Amber Hayes comments:
“It is difficult for many rural towns to establish/fund a successful project in their communities. The model of the jazz nights is intended to be replicated in other regions and for a variety of projects. We drafted a project based on community feedback. We told the community we needed 40 people to commit to the 10 nights of the series in order to launch – they responded by buying 60.
“This translates into the ability of the organizers to directly move forward in executing the jazz nights. It makes it so much easier as a project manager to be able to use a tool like this to build support for a project or program instead of investing and launching something without any tangible support. We were also able to do this without any grants yet return funds to non-profits.
“It was very rewarding to see the community rally around this project. I hope to support other communities in using this platform to support their unique projects or community’s needs. With the establishment of platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe we felt it valuable to offer a similar tool to local organizations, but retain dividends in our communities instead of outside our region.
“I am looking forward to more Jazz nights and events in the Old Fire Hall, and I thank the community for making it happen – this Jazz night series belongs to them and will be a great celebration every night music and crowds again fill the Hall.“
Hayes limited the project from selling out only on pre-sold passes so a few seats would be available for people visiting the area and/or those able to attend only one or two nights because they felt everyone should be able to have the opportunity to experience both the amazing ambiance and performances this space offers. Approximately 20 tickets will be available online the Monday prior to the remaining shows.
Interested individuals should visit the website to sign up for ticket alerts and/or join the Facebook group. Links on how communities can use crowdsourcing to launch new projects are also available on the website.