The Canberra International Music Festival, which was to have run across the first ten days of May, is yet another arts event cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was devastating for the Festival, which had to be called off some six weeks before its opening concert. “This decision will have enormous financial implications for CIMF given the loss of ticket sales income, and the significant costs already incurred,” said Chair Bev Clarke and Artistic Director Roland Peelman in a statement when the decision was made. “Our priority will be to maintain the jobs of our core staff while we work through the options to secure our future.”

Eric Avery Canberra International Music Festival 2020 artist Eric Avery. Photo courtesy of CIMF

The goal, however, remains to survive and deliver a Festival in 2021. For Artistic Director Roland Peelman, “survive” is the key word. “Essentially CIMF survives because of the generosity of our patrons, donors and this extremely dedicated group of loyal supporters,” he tells Limelight. “It means we can maintain a skeletal staff to deal with the fall-out of the cancellation and the planning of next year’s festival. We are keeping fingers...

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