In the midst of a student protest that has lasted more than 100 days in Montreal over a recent tuition hike announcement, the Montreal Jazz Fest organizers released the line-up for this year's event, which will run from June 29th till July 7th, and they said that they are not concerned that the demonstrations will interrupt the festivities.
In fact, The Canadian Press reported yesterday that student groups have said they never intended to interfere with any of Montreal's summer events, and news reports saying the opposite were nothing more than a government tactic. "We broke the myth that the student movement is violent, that it wants to disrupt," said Martine Desjardins, president of the biggest of the groups, the Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec (FEUQ) – yet the Grand Prix open house was cancelled last Thursday for just that reason. "It was toward the end of negotiations [with the government] that they tried to make people believe we wanted to disrupt the festivals this summer."
At the same time, it's been said that Montreal tourism is losing money because of the crisis, and questions have been circulating as to whether the more than 25 summer events in Montreal will be affected by the protests. Jazz Fest programming vice-president Laurent Saulnier isn't concerned. "The plan that we have right now is to say to everybody that everything will be fine and everybody will be respectful to the Jazz Fest. The students told us that yesterday – that they don’t want to interrupt any festivals, etc.," he said (according to CBC News).
Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS