It took five weeks for Ziv Przytyk to get a firm answer from the Quebec government about the fate of the 15th annual ShazamFest.
The founder and artistic director of the popular Eastern Townships event bounced around phone calls and emails with local officials, eventually being told to contact Santé Estrie. They informed him that with new health and safety guidelines in place, he could host a live audience.
But he wasn’t aware of the rule changes around outdoor public gatherings and events. The 10-person rule changed on June 22, Przytyk explained, but he only found out on July 15. He blames the miscommunication on the government’s lack of interest in the arts.
“The support for small festivals and stuff at a provincial level is non-existent actually,” he said. “All the support that festivals get you have to have either over 5000 people attending or a budget of over $100,000, so any of the small cultural engines get shafted from the provincial government.”