Montreal International Jazz Festival To Lose GM As A Sponsor

Montreal International Jazz Festival To Lose GM As A Sponsor
In perhaps a taste of things to come, the Montreal International Jazz Festival has fallen victim to hard economic times and lost its main corporate sponsor. General Motors has declined to renew its five-year sponsorship contract with the annual event, telling CBC that next summer will be the company's last with the festival.

"General Motors won't be a sponsor of the jazz festival anymore after the 30th anniversary of the jazz festival in 2009," GM spokesperson Isabelle Perras Perras told CBC.

However, festival organizers sound confident about the festival's future and are telling jazz lovers not to be alarmed. "People should not be worried about the future of the international jazz festival," Alain Simard, festival founder and president, told CBC.

Simard added that he expected GM might not renew its sponsorship deal due to the global economic downturn and the auto manufacturer's recent financial problems. He also said he was confident the festival would find a new sponsor in time for the 2010 edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

"No, it's not a catastrophe," said Simard. "People shouldn't be worried about the future of the international jazz festival."

Simard did not reveal how much the GM contract was worth.