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The economy, Canada and the La Quinta Arts Festival

Kathleen Hughes from the La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta (CA), has given me permission to share this private email from her with you:

I know that you always like to get statistics or hear how a show went across the country. This morning this information was sent to all of our participating artists.


This year I concentrated heavily on marketing to the coastal audience (we are two hours away) hoping to compensate for the weak Canadian dollar with many second homeowners here in the Coachella Valley. Well as only Mother Nature can, she laughed at me! It poured rain along the coast Saturday and Sunday and 22% of the tickets purchased in advance for the weekend day did not take the risk and drive to Festival. We tried to assure the patrons that called that the skies were overcast and we did have a few gusts of wind but nothing like what was being touted by the newscasters.


Our attendance overall was down 20% from 2015. But those who came, bought art as art sales have surpassed $2.7 million when in reality with a 20% drop in attendance, we should only have reached $2.5 million. We are extremely grateful for the high quality of art and new talent that was at Festival and believe this is the reason that art sales remained strong. Thrilled to get such a strong influx of new artists from the Midwest and East Coast! (Thank you for your influence on them to travel such a long distance to the West.)  The new artists swept the Artist Awards which confirms what I meant about their strength.


You may not feel the effects of the weak Canadian Dollar in Florida but it certainly hits both California and Arizona hard. We depend on the snowbirds for a strong winter season and all  business is down 20-30% this season throughout the Coachella Valley.  So we feel very fortunate indeed.


I hope this  information gives you a better understanding our market. Thank you for your support!



Kathleen Hughes
Events Manager

I wonder if these Canadians were also missing from the Florida shows this year. Does anyone have any information on that? 

Views: 485

Comment by Carol Joy Shannon on April 1, 2016 at 10:18am

I am sticking with my "election year" theory.  I know a lot of artists poo-poo this, but I watched it affect sales in 2012 and 2008.  This year people are even more squirelly, because, no matter which side you are on, there is an extreme candidate whose election could affect American business in a big way.  Consumer confidence is not high.  There was an uptick a year ago but during last summer people seemed to start holding on to their money again.

Comment by Ruth Finkenbiner on April 1, 2016 at 2:49pm

Our February shows in AZ were disappointing, and I do think it's a combination of both the election year and lack of Canadians.  


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