It was a damp, rainy evening at Jam in Jubilee Thursday. There were very few spectators and the vendor count was way down. Hopefully when the sunshine returns so will the crowd.
The Jam in Jubilee Summer Concert Series celebrates its 10th year anniversary this July 10th 2014, when its first performers hit the stage at Abbotsford’s Jubilee Park. Organizers of the Fraser Valley’s premiere grassroots music and arts festival are reflecting on a decade of enormous growth with gratitude for the contributions of its young volunteers.
In the past five years since the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association passed on ownership of the festival to a youth-oriented group called the Jam In Jubilee Committee, the free community event’s attendance has grown by over 450%. The Committee attributes the festival’s growth to a new focus on procuring the Fraser Valley’s most exciting indie music talent for its main-stage. The festival has grown extremely popular among 15-30 year olds while still maintaining a family-friendly, inclusive atmosphere.
Impressively, Jam in Jubilee is run entirely by non-paid volunteers; the past 4 editions of the festival were fuelled by an estimated 25,000 volunteer hours. Jam in Jubilee Director Sophia Suderman acknowledges that the vast majority of those volunteer hours were donated by the same 15-30 year-old demographic that has been flocking to the festival in recent years.
‘It’s clear that, contrary to the Millennial generation’s reputation for self-centeredness, young people are really willing to work hard for a community that they believe in,’ says Sophia Suderman, Jam in Jubilee’s Director. ‘I think Jam in Jubilee represents a “cause” to a lot of young people in Abbotsford who are hungry for a stronger arts community.’
With the festival line up complete, and critically acclaimed acts like Young Liars, Jay Arner, Derrival, and Open Letters confirmed to take the stage each Thursday night in Abbotsford’s Jubilee Park from July 10th to August 14th, Suderman is hopeful that Jam in Jubilee will continue to break attendance records and new cultural ground in the Fraser Valley. ‘We’re honoured to have been asked to curate stages for the Berry Beat Festival and Abbotsford’s Canada Day celebrations. Also, the Townhall Public House and UFV’s CiVL Radio are hosting shows that will take place on Thursday nights after the other bands have played in Jubilee Park. We’re calling that the “After Dark Series” and we’re really excited about it. It’s great to finally see youth culture in Abbotsford coming up from the underground and being truly supported.’
There are still opportunities for volunteers to get involved with Jam in Jubilee this summer. To learn more about the festival or to get connected as a volunteer, visit: http://jaminjubilee.com.
Bas is the owner and photographer at MonoPod Photography.
You can follow Bas on Facebook where he publishes many of his photos.
To see more of Bas’ photos on Abbotsford Today click here
To see Bas’ photos of the homeless during Moving Day On Gladys Avenue click here
Bas Stevens lives in downtown Abbotsford and shares the neighbourhood just as readily with his neighbours with homes as he does with the homeless, the drug addicted and others who are down on their luck.
Bas has a home and is known to most in the power structure in Abbotsford as a man who calls things as he sees them and is very involved in his community and the political process which guides it.
You can find him most Wednesday nights over at Jubilee Park during The 5 and 2 Ministries meal for the homeless. Failing that, you catch him either at Legal Grounds Coffee House chewing the ear off of a politician or giving as good as he gets over at O’Neill’s Home Cooking over on Gosling.
You stand a good chance of finding him Saturday mornings over at the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market and Saturday evenings back over at Jubilee Park.
Wherever he is Bas usually has his eyes and ears wide open. We’re proud to have him as a contributor and urge you to get to know him if you give a damn about Abbotsford. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who cares more than he does.