by Salgood Sam
Full disclosure, FBDM is my local comics festival, I live literally around the corner from the park where it’s held. But a week ago I had to cancel my table, being on the high risk side of things because of existing conditions I won’t be testing out my immune system in larger gatherings for at least a year and a half probably.
So I was not at all surprised to hear that FBDM/MCAF organizers announced the cancellation of the outdoors comic festival slated to happen in two months. They are however going to do their best to still give lovers of the medium something to gather around by taking as much of their programing as they can online. So that’s cool! Here’s their official press release with the details.
We have been hopefully waiting and watching, but the time has come to face the facts: Given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it is impossible to present MCAF 2020 in its regular format this year.
At the time of writing, international travel is closed until June 30, social distancing is the new global norm, and Montreal has become a “hot spot” for Covid-19 infections in Quebec.
And so, with two months to go before our scheduled opening, we have decided that the 2020 edition of MCAF will be a 100% “virtual” festival. This means that there won’t be a physical presence for the festival this year: The tents won’t be seen in Parc Lafontaine, and we won’t have physical exhibitors present.
This was obviously not an easy decision to make. We know that the Festival is important to our exhibitors, and that the decision to not host a physical event will certainly have a financial impact on the many publishers and creators who make MCAF a part of their lives each year. However we are committed to learning and growing from this experience, as we master new tools for reaching the public online, and we hope that everyone will join us in connecting the MCAF community this year in the form of a virtual festival.
This year, MCAF’s programming
will be hosted live on our website.
There you will find round-table discussions, workshops, live drawing, and more. We’ll also have some virtual “meet and greets” with some of your favorite comics creators… They might even be sporting their favorite PJs! You can wear yours too… After all, we’re all in this together!
Please continue to follow MCAF on our site and social media as we prepare for this very unexpected new form for the Montreal Comic Arts Festival. More information on all of our programing will be coming soon. We remain as dedicated as ever to sharing the beauty of comics and to support the amazing creators who make it all possible. With this in mind, we invite you to check out our ongoing campaign for Lettres à Montréal, featuring the work of 24 cartoonists in what will be the first publication of MCAF Press.
This quick turnaround for the Festival would not have been possible without the tireless support of our financial sponsors. We consider ourselves to be incredibly lucky and will forever be grateful to them for their continued backing as we work to maintain the comic arts place in our city’s cultural sphere, even during this time of pandemic. Many thanks to : the Canada Arts Council, Canadian Heritage, the Montréal Arts Council, SODEC, Bureau des festivals et événements culturels de Montréal, l’Arrondissement Le-Plateau-Mont-Royal, Caisse de la culture Desjardins, the Consulate General of France in Quebec, the Goethe Institute, and the Centre de la francophonie des Amériques, ArtVest.
We must also take a moment to thank our team, which is made almost entirely of volunteers. With less than two months to go until the Festival, this team of dedicated comic book lovers is ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work on a project that is radically different than what was expected. A huge thank you to everyone for their hard work.
Until next time, take care of yourselves and we can’t wait to see you… Virtually!
We will be refunding all paid fees for table and booth rentals at MCAF 2020. Exhibitors may alternately have their payment applied to the 2021 edition of MCAF. If this is of interest to you, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that fees will automatically be refunded unless a demand is received by 7pm on April 7, 2020.