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Music Schools BC

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The official blog of the British Columbia Association of Community Music Schools

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Budget 2010 consultation

The provincial Finance Committee will be traveling the province to hear from you about what you think the 2010/2011 budget should look like.  The current BC Liberal budget plan for 2010/2011 includes cuts of 90% to arts and culture investment.   As you know this will devastate arts organizations, throw thousands out of work, hurt our communities, and negatively impact our economy.  It just doesn’t make sense.  These cuts include the elimination of gaming funds, the entirety of BC Arts Council grants, and other investments in arts and culture
To get on the speakers list you need to act fast.  The Finance Committee have provided less than 5 days notice for arts and culture organizations in Vancouver to participate in the first public forum they are hosting.
The committee will visit other communities across BC soon thereafter.  (Full dates and times are below).  
The government has provided very little time to respond, and we can’t let them get away with keeping our communities voices from being heard.   

To get on the list to speak, please contact: 
toll free          1-877-428-8337
local                  250 356-2933
online           use this link
  and click on the “participate in a public hearing” button.
If you are unable to make it to an in person session then you can submit your thoughts in writing or by
Web video (just click on the link above). 

This is very important – even a one page submission outlining the impact of cuts and the need for next year’s budget to reverse the trend would be helpful.  It is important that speakers include community members speaking in support of the arts, culture, and heritage sectors, professionals, membership organizations, board members, volunteers – you get the idea. 

Here is the schedule in brief:

Mon. Sept. 28  -   Vancouver (Wosk Centre)    9 - 5
Weds. Oct. 7- 
Victoria             8:30- Noon
Fri. Oct. 9      
Videoconferencing hearings
(Cranbrook, Courtenay, Dawson Creek)     9am – 1pm

Weds. Oct. 14   
Smithers                 9 - Noon
                         Prince George                  4 – 7 pm

Thurs. Oct. 15    
Kamloops       9 - Noon
                            Kelowna          4 – 7 pm

Fri. Oct. 16       Surrey       9am – 6 pm


Monday, September 21, 2009

Stanford Social Innovation Review : Articles : The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle (August 18, 2009)

Stanford Social Innovation Review : Articles : The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle (August 18, 2009)

A vicious cycle is leaving nonprofits so hungry for decent infrastructure that they can barely function as organizations—let alone serve their beneficiaries. The cycle starts with funders’ unrealistic expectations about how much running a nonprofit costs, and results in nonprofits’ misrepresenting their costs while skimping on vital systems—acts that feed funders’ skewed beliefs. To break the nonprofit starvation cycle, funders must take the lead.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Death by a thousand cuts

Delta Community Music School, like everyone else has lost the financial support of the Government of BC with cutting of the Direct Access grants from Gaming.  We have been receiving this grant for many years, in fact it is the only support we receive from any level of Government; municipal, provincial or federal.  Last year we received about $18,000, which amounts to about 8% of our operating costs. These funds do go towards the operating costs of the school, which include our studios, utilities, admin staff, and the like. These fees do not go directly to artists, or to the faculty.

I have been hearing a lot of complaints lately about how artists are all "lazy bums" who live off of grants like welfare recipients. I hear complaints about how artists are not really that important. I hear that if we were any good we would be famous like Madonna or Avril Lavigne and would  have multi-million dollar recording contracts before the end of puberty. Our CD's would be available at WalMart.  I hear that investing in us is just a waste of time. We are all bottom feeders like imaginary  welfare bums that live on free handouts like in  Vancouver's downtown east side, Actually if we down and out and living on the downtown east side we would probably be getting more respect.
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Culture Matters - Don't Torch the Arts

This is an information sheet issued today by the Arts Alliance in Vancouver. Here is an excerpt:

Despite recent announcements reinstating funding to multi-year clients of Gaming grants, funding to the arts and culture sector has NOT been restored; the provincial government is planning to cut over 80% of what has consisted of only 1/20th of 1% of the provincial budget.

According to our most recent sources, 85%-92% of core provincial funding for arts and culture will be cut by 2012, from both tax-based and non-tax-based [gaming] streams. The arts and cultural sector is bearing the brunt of discretionary cuts compared with other areas. During this economic crisis we are willing to make reasonable sacrifices, but cannot accept outright decimation of the sector.

Total support for arts and culture organizations in BC from 2008-2012, including all sources (Gaming, BC Arts and Culture Special Endowment, Direct taxpayer investment) are:
2008/2009 – 47.8 million
2009/2010 – 42.219 million (as of February)
2009/2010 – 23.075 million (suddenly, as of September)
2010/2011 – 3.749 million (not including Gaming funds)
2011/2012 – 3.675 million (not including Gaming funds)

No other province in Canada has reduced support for the arts sector, a sector that, according to government statistics, produces significant returns on investment. This is a sector that creates both social and economic capital. The arts are a critical part of many stimulus strategies being enacted around the world.

Download information sheet Here pdf format.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gaming Grant Impact Survey

From the Alliance for Arts and Culture

The media has asked for stats regarding the number of organizations affected by recent provincial funding cuts. They want to know how groups are affected and what is being lost as a result of lost Gaming revenues. This survey will help us give specifics to the media on the impact of the cuts to our sector.

If you’ve LOST your gaming funding, please answer the questions in this brief survey. It should only take a few minutes.

Here is the link to the Gaming Grant Impact Survey.
- from Alliance for Arts and Culture Vancouver

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Open Source and Freeware music software

A fellow blogger, Joseph Pisano at MusTech.Net, has compiled and posted a list of Must-Have Downloadable Freebies for music teachers. It’s a great list, separated into the following categories: Audio Editing, Ear Training, Early Music Instruction (Kids’ Stuff), Jazz Related Programs, Looping/Audio Mixing, Lyrics/Song Writing, Metronomes, Notation, MIDI Sequencing, Music Theory, Tuners, and Virtual Pianos. I haven't had a chance to review all the programs, but there looks to be some useful things here.

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Op-Ed piece about Gaming and non-profit funding

Here is an interesting perspective about the use of Gaming and gambling funds and the history of their use for funding charities in the province of British Columbia. The article is worth a read.

Government is gambling with other people's money
: Why the Liberals' gaming-grant shenanigans are everyone's business. - Province newspaper, Sept.3, 2009

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Province's reversal on gaming grants raises more questions than answers

From the Georgia Strait , September 3, 2009

Arts groups in B.C. are still not breathing easy following the province's sudden about-face regarding multiyear Direct Access gaming grants September 2.

Although Minister of Housing and Social Development Rich Coleman has confirmed all multiyear gaming grants will be honoured, questions and confusion remain over current B.C. Arts Council grants, future arts funding, and support for organizations without multiyear gaming grant commitments.

Coleman has been reported stating that another $30 million in grants has been approved, $15 million of which has already been committed, but it is unclear where that money is going. While 540 community organizations—not all necessarily arts groups—will receive their multiyear gaming commitments, those who have survived for years on a year-to-year basis will likely not receive anything from gaming this year or next, according to NDP Culture Critic Spencer Herbert.

"We'll probably hear an announcement or see another letter or something in the next two or three days," Herbert told the Straight. "Maybe some of it will go to a couple of arts and culture groups, but I'm not holding my breath, given what Coleman said again and again in the media: 'This is not for those other groups, this is just for the three-year [commitments].'"

There are hundreds of arts groups throughout the province without multiyear funding commitments. They include the Canadian Music Centre, which has received $20,000 annually for a number of years; musica intima, which was expecting $11,000; the Vancouver Cantata Singers, which were expecting $27,000; and Intrepid Theatre in Victoria, which historically has received at least $20,000 a year, and is in the midst of presenting its 23rd annual Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival. The Alliance for Arts and Culture, which normally receives $35,000 a year from gaming, was also denied its funding.

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British Library Sound Archives

The British Library has made 23,700 rare music and sound recordings from its massive collection, reputed to be one of the largest sound archives in the world, available for free online.

The Library announced that 2,000 hours of material — just a fraction of its entire catalogue of sound — are now available on its website.
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