In March, the historic Hermann’s Jazz Club was just months away from closing down. But thanks to the successful community fundraising the musical venue has been saved.
Last month, the charitable group Jazz On View Society launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise $75,000 to lease Hermann’s. Now, on its closing day, the campaign has exceeded the goal by thousands and raised a total of $91,745.
Besides the GoFundMe, the society held a fundraising event at Hermann’s on April 10th that raised a whopping $18,000 in just one night.
“We told people that we hit our goal but people kept donating,” said Jazz On View Society Chair Bill Turner.
With the money raised, Jazz On View is now finalizing details for the lease and are in the process of transferring all the relevant operating licenses. The society hopes to have the lease finalized at the beginning of May but predicts that the actual change will occur sometime in mid-May.
Renovations and community support
Turner told Victoria Buzz that guests will probably not notice any significant changes in operation, with performances already scheduled in May and June and the same staff working daily.
However, the extra funds raised will help go towards much needed renovations to the club and charitable financial support for young and emerging musicians looking to play in the venue’s professional setting.
“[The funds] help us as a charity to really support schools and jazz bands and emerging performers by giving them a chance to play at the club, even if they can’t afford the normal costs of performing,” said Turner.
“Hermann always did that, he always had a program for school bands but it was always dependant on numbers.”
Eventually, Jazz On View hopes to raise a total of $8 million to purchase the property outright and to create an endowment fund for performers in Victoria.
In the meantime, the society is grateful for the support that Victorians have shown and that allowed for Canada’s longest continuously running jazz club to keep its doors open and the music flowing.
“The community effort was just amazing the number of people who supported the program is amazing and the GoFundMe went really well,” said Turner.