Sled Island's Future in Danger?

Sled Island's Future in Danger?
Now four years in, Calgary, AB's Sled Island festival has built a phenomenal reputation for drawing international musical talent to Alberta. The 2011 edition of the festival may be in danger, however, as it needs to raise $300,000 in funding by mid-December.

"Ticket sales cover a lot for this festival, but at the same time, we do need some additional funding," Sled founder Zak Pashak told the Calgary Sun.

Pashak's involvement in Sled Island has been slowly dwindling as he becomes more involved with municipal politics. The founder of Vancouver's Biltmore Cabaret and Calgary's Broken City took a break from the world of live music to run for alderman in Calgary's Ward 8. As such, the festival needs to hire new full-time staff and rent an office space.

"My house has been the office," Pashak said. "I've spent a large chunk of the past four years working on Sled Island with no pay and investing some of my own money to help get it kick-started. But I'm stepping back. I'm not going to be putting full-time work into it this year."

Of the $300,000 required, $100,000 has already been pledged, but the festival will need to raise the additional amount in the next month if it is going to get started on planning for 2011. "The best thing that could happen for Sled Island now is for us to get a naming sponsor," Pashak said. "We need to get started on the festival soon, booking bands and sending out contracts. But I'm not prepared to do it if the money is potentially going to have to come out of my pocket again."

Those interested in investing can contact Pashak at [email protected] Check out Exclaim!'s coverage of Sled Island 2010 here.