GALA Festival Decision FAQ
Why aren’t we rescheduling Festival for 2022?
Member choruses told us they and their singers need more time to recover economically and plan for future travel. They do not anticipate generating performance revenue until, at the earliest, spring 2021. There are still many variables that could impact the status of COVID that may not be resolved before we’d need to start planning and negotiating contracts. Also, our Canadian member choruses are committed to the Unison Festival in Halifax in 2022.
How was this decision made?
The GALA board and staff have met monthly since the pandemic started to monitor and adjust our plans based on the best information we had at the time. We gathered feedback from member choruses at the recent Leadership Symposium, conducted a survey of Artistic Directors at one of the AD support group meetings and conducted a Pandemic Impact Survey of the entire membership in late November. The staff made a recommendation that was unanimously adopted by the Board
Where will 2024 be held or when can you tell us?
We are currently negotiating in good faith with our performance hall and hotel partners and we will update you as soon as we can. Our hope is to announce locations for Festivals 2024 and 2028 concurrently.
If I donate my registration, is it tax deductible?
In the United States, for tax years beginning in 2020, whether you take the standard deduction or itemize when filing your taxes, our registration fee is likely deductible. For Canadians, U.S. charitable contributions are only deductible against any U.S. income they may have.
Will there be an online Festival?
We have learned that while some programs, such as Symposium, can translate to the virtual setting, we know that the spirit of Festival requires real people and places. Over the coming months we will produce a free series of new online programs (recorded concerts, social, networking and educational events) to bridge the gap and help us stay connected and listen to each other. Your support will make this possible.
Why can’t GALA recoup all of its 2020 expenses?
We have worked diligently and aggressively to avoid over $500,000 in penalties from cancelled and renegotiated agreements. However $334,000 in advance labor costs and nonrefundable deposits are a burden on us. We took immediate steps in April of this year to reduce our ongoing expenses by 25% (including salary reductions of 32%) and are planning on how to survive the coming years with reduced resources.
Why can’t GALA survive without the revenues from Festival?
Festival provides over 70% of the revenues that fund GALA over the four-year Festival cycle. The income from festival is invested in order to sustain operational losses in non-festival years. We collect dues and have some proceeds from the leadership symposia in non-festival years which supplement the income invested from festival.
What will happen if less than ~ 60% of remaining registered delegates contribute their Festival 2020 registration payments?
GALA will have insufficient cash flow to stay in business until cash flows from Festival 2024 begin. We would be required to either liquidate the organization entirely or shut down until sometime in 2023.
Will our donation register us for Festival 2024?
No. Donations of Festival 2020 registrations will allow GALA to stay in business for 2021-2023. Registration for Festival 2024 would open in the spring of 2023.
What can singers do to support GALA Choruses beyond a donation?
Singers can support GALA through our Facebook and YouTube pages, GALA will present a number of concerts, webinars and other events throughout 2021 in which our singers can participate and there will be a live leadership symposium in Atlanta in 2022.