No Fun City Vancouver is making a comeback with its latest cancellation of popular arts and music events

a DJ playing to a crowd of people on an open air rooftop

No Fun City Vancouver is living up to its name with a new disappointment in the arts and culture sector and we’re not even surprised.

The Bootleggers Open Air series, a series of artistic events that has brought thousands of Vancouverites together in the name of music, art and dance, was suddenly canceled just days before its 3rd edition, by the venue – 1931 Gallery Bistro.

The team was left in dismay when the general manager of 1931 Gallery Bistro announced the cancelation of the series at the venue via an email that didn’t include any reason or explanation,  but loosely alluded that there were questions/concerns by the Vancouver Art Gallery senior board members.  The event was originally scheduled for Saturday, July 15th, with a 4th and special edition happening 9 days later featuring Vancouver-based celebrated guest artist, Jason Dussault and LA based music producer, Ray Kash.

“We want to sincerely apologize to all our event ticket holders, artists, partners, and sponsors for this event and upcoming. However, our hands are tied at this point, and we have done everything we can to keep this project going forward. We do our best to bring artists in all forms together, support the local industry and help shine light on all the amazing talent we have to offer here in BC. We thought of no better place than the Vancouver Art Gallery whose mission is “to create through art, paths to share perspectives, build and engage communities and shape our collective future together”. But it is with heavy hearts that we must cancel our upcoming Bootleggers Open Air Gala series.” – Kam Tabarraee, CEO of Bootleggers

Despite many efforts to communicate and understand why the event was really cancelled, the 1931 Gallery Bistro avoided returning calls or answering emails to provide the reason for the first 24 hours. Eventually, under legal obligations noted by the legal counsel of Bootleggers, the general manager of 1931 Gallery Bistro listed a few reasons for cancellation that were simply inaccurate, rushed and inconclusive. All the noted items of concern were easily manageable as part of event execution and this is under circumstances that after the first two events, the management of 1931 Gallery Bistro never mentioned or pointed any of those concerns as they simply did not exist as a point of concern.

Organizers have incurred over $100,000 in cost and revenue losses due to this cancellation besides the negative considerable damage to their brand image and reputation. Many artists, professionals, creators, music producers, technology and creative community enthusiasts left with their performances and subsequential shows as part of this series canceled. Moreover, thousands of Vancouver residents that were eagerly looking forward to participating in this immersive event series, were left disappointed.

These events were designed to showcase art, connect the professionals and creative community, and help promote a culturally richer Vancouver.

“This action against accessibility of art and culture by an organization that is supposed to be the nurturing support for art and culture in the city, is unacceptable, specially two days out from the event with no concrete explanation.” – Bootleggers team

The Bootleggers Open Air Gala summer series was the result of a collaboration among local celebrated designer and creator, Kiarash TK, the creative cocktail brand based in Vancouver and Los Angeles, Cocktail Connoisseur (led by Kam Tabarraee & Jean Laven), and Chali Rosso Art Gallery, a Vancouver-based art gallery exclusively exhibiting the original work of Chagall, Dali, Miro, Picasso, Andy Warhol and many more modern contemporary artists. These visionary entities came together to create a platform for all generations to connect in a fun, engaging, and creative environment, at a renowned establishment that the team where proud and honoured to be partnered with 1931 Gallery Bistro.

“We hope to provide everyone including our team with an explanation nevertheless at this point we have hit a wall with 1931 Gallery Bistro, and we appreciate everyone’s support at this time while we gather ourselves. But we will stay positive and in the interim while we overcome this, we will continue to support the Vancouver Art community, as the show must go on.” – Bootleggers co-founders

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