Cheryl Fisher hams it up for the livestream during the Jazz at the Lake festival on the balcony at Sweet Home on the Lake, Aug. 14. The festival will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2022.
Sylvan Lake News file photo

Jazz At The Lake seeking community support to stay afloat

There persists a need to access outside funding sources

Sylvan Lake’s Jazz At The Lake Festival Society (JATL), that has been jazzing up the community with its performances while serving as a platform for musicians and students for over 15 years, is seeking support to continue operations.

Given the effects that COVID-19 has had on the music industry, similar to other entities, Jazz At The Lake was also at a standstill for the last two years, with little opportunity to perform, organizers say.

While the group has been able to retain all its volunteers, there persists a need to access outside funding sources, according to a JATL news release.

It added that with input from the group’s supports, they hope to acquire a Community Initiatives Program project-based provincial funding stream.

JATL Board President Eric Allison said, “It’s the funding issue for 2022 that is going to make the difference. We are pretty sure that we can present a festival next August, and it will be our 20th anniversary.

“But, the size and scope of the festival will completely be determined by the funding that we are able to raise.”

Typically funded by the Town of Sylvan Lake, as a result of the continuing financial considerations of the Town budget due to the pandemic, the group was unable to receive their usual funding.

The provincial grant that the group is aiming for requires letters of support from multiple stakeholders, with the people of the community being an important one, shared the news release.

JATL calls for community members and group followers to contribute with a letter of support that would be included in the grant application by Sept. 12, to help increase their odds of getting approved.

Those interested could share their letter of support via email at

Below are the parameters of what grant funding bodies look at in a letter of support:

  • The name, position and/organization of the person writing the letter
  • The name of your project
  • Why the project is important for the community
  • What assistance or involvement will be provided by the person or organization writing the letter (e.g. a community group might be able to provide volunteers to help out with the project, or a local shop might be able to help to promote the project, etc.)
  • Why they believe the organization will be able to deliver the project successfully

Sylvan Lake has fostered some of the country’s best jazz artists, including P.J. Perry, who is one of the finest saxophonists in the country and a two-time Juno Award winner, international jazz recording artist Cheryl Fisher, and the late, great Senator Tommy Banks, a world class jazz musician, shares JATL’s website.

It further added that the group aims to commemorate and continue the local tradition of live music, family fun and cultural awareness.

Allison said that he is enthusiastic about conducting next year’s festival, along with the celebration of Jazz At The Lake’s 20th anniversary scheduled between Aug. 19 and 21 provided they receive community support and are successful to secure the provincial grant.


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