Komasket revelers enjoy a dance at the world music festival last summer. This year's Komasket Music Festival

Komasket revelers enjoy a dance at the world music festival last summer. This year's Komasket Music Festival

Komasket takes a break this summer

Komasket Music Festival cancels 11th annual event following loss

The popular Komasket Music Festival will not be held this year due to a personal loss sustained by its artistic directors.

Festival co-founders Devaki and Thomas Thomas, who are now based in London, U.K., said the decision to postpone the 11th annual festival came after much soul searching.

“As many of you know in December 2011 we experienced the tragic loss of our brother and fellow musician (Kunja Chatterton), which has deeply impacted our lives and requires time to heal and rejuvenate,” said Devaki.

The Vernon festival has traditionally been held in Komasket Park on the Okanagan Indian Reserve, on the west side of Okanagan Lake, every August long weekend the past 10 years.

“The last 10 years of presenting the Komasket Music Festival have been the most rewarding and challenging experience of our lives and we offer deep gratitude to all the musicians, volunteers, vendors, supporters, sponsors and audiences who helped make this beautiful community gathering possible,” said Devaki.

While the Thomas’ and the KMF board of directors say the festival has been a successful venture on many levels, they are hoping this year off will give them needed time to plan and structure the continuing of the KMF to see a bright and long future with greater financial stability and sustainability.

Although the festival has not had any specific financial challenges, the cuts to arts funding in B.C. has had an effect on many festivals and especially the smaller ones, said Devaki.

“We do not earn revenue from alcohol sales so grants and sponsorships are very needed,” she said.

The Komasket board is setting its sights on returning the August long weekend in 2013. In the meantime, the festival is planning more fundraising dances to he held in Vernon throughout the year.

“We know that, like us, many of you have come to look forward to the KMF as the highlight of your year and a chance to reconnect with family and friends and we will all deeply feel its absence this summer,” said Devaki. “We hope you keep a warm place in your hearts for the KMF and keep the spirit of unity and magic alive until we meet again in 2013 refreshed, recharged and rejuvenated and ready to keep the KMF fire burning brighter than ever.”

Those who bought passes for the 2012 festival can contact the Ticket Seller at 250-549-7469 for a full refund.