I've just had a 'phone conversation with my kids' violin teacher who has been a member of the CBC Orchestra for 30 years. She is devastated and somewhat in shock. She expressed what a real privilege it has been to be part of such an exciting, wonderful venue with world-class (really, and not just repeated as PR) musicians and conductors. And, with the stroke of a pen, 70 years has been erased by inept bureaucrats.
Their conductor was told about this decision before Christmas and was expected to inform the members two days prior to Christmas, which he wouldn't do. He has been living with this knowledge since that time. The concert master, in tears, spoke of the orchestra as a jewel.
Like telemarketers, the two people from CBC were completely "on message" yesterday and would not, or could not, directly answer questions that deviated from their script.
The money that these wonderful musicians are paid is a pittance and the money ($600K?) that will be "saved" is small potatoes compared to what the orchestra provides. This decision will have a domino effect -- the orchestra also plays with, for instance, the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Vancouver Cantata Singers, etc. something which will no longer be possible once it is disbanded.
Many in the music community (Bramwell Tovy for instance) packed the lobby of the closed meeting last night to show their support for the orchestra. We can only hope that there will be a ground swell of support and this decision will be reversed, although this is probably unlikely.
Friday, March 28, 2008
The CBC is a corrupt organization.
Worse is that is hidden within folds upon folds of unfathomable bureaucracy.
That doesn't mean that it should be disbanded and sold to corporate broadcasters.
Far from it.
The CBC, which still continues in small fits and starts, to provide first rate programming that will never be available in the profit model, has an important role to play.
Unfortunately, it is almost a secret cabal. It thrashes about from leadership to leadership, spending huge amounts of money recklessly and changing content at whim.
The shutting down of the CBC Orchestra is a loathsome act, and completely unnecessary. The costs are minimal and the rewards are immense.
We need MORE orchestras, not less. And the CBC Orchestra in particular has a deserved international reputation.
This latest act by CBC brass is as obscene as the March snow that is falling outside my window.
Posted by David Berner at 9:54 AM
$11 Million tax dollars for a spruced up Granville Maul, er...Mall?
And tell me, with wall to wall beer halls how is this "make-over" going to change the skiddy frontier town reality to something approaching civilization?
I'll believe it when I see it.
The foto, by the way, was apparently taken on the day when all the drunks and drug addicts were making their weekly court appearances.
Posted by David Berner at 9:46 AM