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Photo from the sold out Walk off the Earth performance on the TD Mainstage, SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival/Matt Smith.The 31st annual SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival came to a close on Sunday evening July 2nd, with concerts at the PotashCorp Club Jazz Free Stage and a final performance by Saskatoon's own 12-piece band Mo'Love

More details from SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival (www.saskjazz.com):

The SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival is an international jazz festival that fosters, promotes and presents jazz music in its diverse forms to the people of Saskatchewan. The festival provides opportunities for the professional development of Saskatchewan musicians and a variety of educational experiences.

On that note, there were over 146 free and ticketed shows at 22 venues in Saskatoon (including Outreach Program as per below) between June 23 and July 2 and this year organizers estimate attendance at over 75,000 people. The festival brings a positive economic impact of over $8,000,000 to the Saskatoon area. This year organizers added an evening of country music on the mainstage, a collaboration with Pride Saskatoon, and a new location for the freestage.

"On behalf of the SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival we woud like to extend a huge thank you to our sponsors, volunteers, artists, contributors, and all the fans that made our 31st event spectacular! Having the support of the community to achieve an audience of 75,000 is truly amazing and speaks volumes about our city and province as advocates of arts and culture." - Kevin Tobin, Artistic Director

There are three more regular components to the festival that are less well known to the public, that bring world-class music to people who aren't likely to have the opportunity to attend these shows, and to match the non-profit organization and registered charity's vision to provide opportunities for the professional development of Saskatchewan musicians. The components are:

1. OUTREACH PROGRAM

From June 23 through June 29 this year the following artists were selected to perform concerts for residents at local care homes:  

Artists: Don Griffith, Sons of Django, Tatrina Tai Duo, Graham Dyck Trio, Brett & Gillian, Hot Club Saskatoon, Crestwood, Prosad, Brent Nielsen & Kara Golemba, Bob Evans, and BC Read, 

Care homes: Stensrud Lodge, Sherbrooke Community Centre, Porteous Lodge, LutherCare Home, Central Haven Special Care Home, Oliver Lodge, Parkridge Centre, St. Ann's Senior Citizens Village, and Trinity Manor. 

The festival is grateful to Saskatchewan Lotteries for supporting the outreach program. 

2. PROVINCIAL TOUR

From May 29 through June 1 this year, featured artists/educators The Dean McNeill Quintet toured to schools in Norquay, Canora, Churchbridge, Yorkton, Calder, Kamsack, Melville, and Fort Qu'Appelle. The provincial tour brings professional musicians and educators to small communities for creative workshops focused on jazz music with a collective of world-class jazz artists. Elementary and high school aged students have the opportunity to broaden their understanding of jazz and the influence the genre has had on contemporary music today through performances and workshops. Each year the provincial tour reaches different communities and children around Saskatchewan. 

The festival is grateful to the Saskatchewan Arts Board for supporting the expenses of this tour. 

3. TD JAZZ INTENSIVE

The festival welcomes all secondary and post-secondary musicians to participate in a creative and celebratory jazz education experience like no other. This unique and innovative 6-day jazz education opportunity is open to students on all instruments and at all levels. Under the guidance of distinguished jazz educators (including Program Coordinator Dean McNeill), program participants created and worked towards a public performance at The Bassment, the home of jazz in Saskatoon, on Saturday, July 1 2017.

The festival is grateful to this program's sponsors: TD, the University of Saskatchewan College of Arts & Science, and the University of Saskatchewan Department of Music. 

OTHER FESTIVAL FUN FACTS:

# of jumps one concert-goer took at the Michael Franti concert according to her Fitbit = 11,000

# of waffle sandwiches consumed by patrons of the Alpha Dog truck at the free stage = 1,200

# of T-shirts sold = 700

# of yoga jams = 1

# of people at the Yoga Jam = 800

# of people at the film Grease in the Gardens = 1388

# of permanent, all-year staff = 5

# of volunteers during festival = 450+

$ value of 50/50 = $55,650 (a new record high - the winner gets 50%)

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