NANAIMO, B.C. -- Due the ongoing pandemic, the Nanaimo International Jazz Festival has had to go virtual.

From March 1 to 20, nine different performances from Vancouver Island jazz musicians will be posted on the festival’s website for people to enjoy.

Each performance will be around a hour long, and new performances will be released every Monday and Wednesday.

The online event was funded by Heritage Canada and the City of Nanaimo as way to support local musicians.

The Nanaimo International Jazz Festival Association had to cancel their three-day event in September because of the pandemic.

“We thought, ‘What can we do to help support our artists,’” says Aline Homzy, a member of the association’s board of directors.

“It’s really important to us to pay our artists fairly, so we thought we would do this as a chance to help the art community here.”

On March 20, the virtual festival will celebrate the career of Canada’s first jazz composer Shelton Brooks.