It feels like an eternity has passed since we last have seen each other and made music together. It was with great sadness that we had to cancel our 20th season of JVL due to COVID-19. While the world shut down, the music never stopped playing. Music lessons and chamber collaborations went digital, and it was incredible to see such fast-paced innovation.
It was while witnessing this innovation that we became inspired to innovate ourselves. As many of you know from our history, we make physical location changes roughly every 5 years since JVL first started 19 years ago. This past season, which had to be cancelled, would have been the 6th year taking place at YMCA Geneva Park in Orillia. We took it as a sign that we really have to move! And move, we definitely are.
With tremendous pleasure and excitement, we would like to announce that the JVL Summer School for Performing Arts is moving provinces! As of 2021, we will be moving to Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
The Summer School program will be completely revamped and reimagined. The facility that we relocate to gives us the opportunity to greatly expand our courses and offerings. It will enable us to invite and host additional world-class performers and faculty, and most importantly, give our students a whole new perspective of a true summer music experience. We will have our very own two-story Arts building with spacious and modern music and practicing rooms, some of which are big enough to accommodate a full symphony orchestra. We will also have the use of a state-of-the-art Concert Hall. We could not possibly imagine a better looking and magnificent campus for a summer festival.
The facility, located about 40 km northwest of Victoria, offers breathtaking oceanfront and mountain views and is right in the middle of a beautiful parkland area. Our students, parents and faculty will be living in newly renovated houses that are a short walk away from the Arts Building and Concert Hall, and of course, be provided with magnificent meals every day. They will have access to various recreational activities such as tennis, basketball, soccer, canoeing, kayaking, hiking and much more!
What excites us the most about this relocation is the idea of making music together in nature. With mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, one is surrounded by nature and scenery that is unmatched anywhere in the world. This immersion in nature-inspired great composers like Beethoven and Brahms, and it is our hope that it will inspire your music-making and growth as well. There will be many opportunities to take advantage of this; outside concerts and events right by the Ocean, hikes, and day trips to explore Vancouver Island to name a few. As an added bonus, our new facility will also offer the opportunity for parents and guests to enjoy one of the most relaxing and beautiful holidays imaginable, one that only Vancouver Island can provide.
Our festival will be renamed to Vancouver Island Music Academy or VIMA. We will also expand the program from 10 days to 2 weeks, with the dates being Tuesday, August 3 – Tuesday, August 17, 2021.
While it is impossible to perform and play together now, there is no doubt about the yearning and hunger for ge[ng back to making music together. We are hoping and praying that the pandemic will in due time be resolved, and we will be allowed to go ahead with music-making with renewed passion and vigour. Of course, this coming 2021 season comes with an absolute guarantee that should COVID-19 persist throughout the year and we are not able to hold the Festival, all fees will be refunded to you in full (as was the case this past 2020 season). Health and safety will be prioritized before anything else, and we will proceed with our new Festival only if it is 100% safe to do so. We are staying hopeful though that the situation will improve in the next 11 months.
We are working hard to put the finishing touches on all the courses and on a completely redesigned website. Please stay tuned, as there will be many updates very soon! Once the website is operational, we will begin accepting applications.
Both myself and David are beyond excited about this new season and the horizon that is expanding for our much beloved JVL! We hope that 2021 will be a very healthy and happy year for all of us and that we will be able to meet and play music together at VIMA next summer.