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Music Schools BC

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

Friday, October 29, 2010

2010 Legacies Now fund shuts out support for arts in B.C.

2010 Legacies Now is rebranding itself and will no longer provide support for the arts, its CEO Bruce Dewar has confirmed. A not-for-profit organization created in 2000 to develop community legacies leading up to, during, and beyond the 2010 Winter Olympics, 2010 Legacies Now will focus on venture philanthropy in sport and healthy living as well as literacy and lifelong learning. “We won’t do the areas that we’ve done traditionally in the past, being contribution agreements or programs for general arts,” Dewar said. “Our time to do that leading up to the Games was a set time, and that part of the journey is over.”

Amir Ali Alibhai, executive director of the Alliance for Arts and Culture, said the news didn’t come as a surprise, but that it was still disappointing. “I’ve known for about a year that they were giving up the whole arts thing,” he said. “The arts could totally benefit from that type of investment and access to venture capital. So it’s a shame that it’s not going to be coming through Legacies 2010.…I’m just hoping that other agencies like the [B.C.] arts council can look at that model of investing, that the new ministry can deal with venture capitalism and the need for capital in terms of artistic and cultural development.”

from the Georgia Straight - Oct. 28, 2010

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The empathy deficit

Young Americans today live in a world of endless connections and up-to-the-minute information on one another, constantly updating friends, loved ones, and total strangers — “Quiz tomorrow...gotta study!” — about the minutiae of their young, wired lives. And there are signs that Generation Wi-Fi is also interested in connecting with people, like, face-to-face, in person. The percentage of high school seniors who volunteer has been rising for two decades.

But new research suggests that behind all this communication and connectedness, something is missing. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, found that college students today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were in 1979, with the steepest decline coming in the last 10 years.
According to the findings, today’s students are generally less likely to describe themselves as “soft-hearted” or to have “tender, concerned feelings” for others. They are more likely, meanwhile, to admit that “other people’s misfortunes” usually don’t disturb them. In other words, they might be constantly aware of their friends’ whereabouts, but all that connectedness doesn’t seem to be translating to genuine concern for the world and one another.
“To me, that’s the basic glue,” said Sara Konrath, a research assistant professor and the lead author of the study on empathy. “It’s so rewarding to connect with human beings. It’s so good for our bodies to do this. Everything we know as psychologists tells us it’s the most wonderful thing. So if we’re losing that, I think that is distressing.”

Read the article on Boston Globe


Monday, October 25, 2010

Ontarians value the arts more than ever, survey shows

I wonder if the same thing could be said about British Columbians?

Ontarians believe more passionately in the importance of the arts than they did 16 years ago, a survey suggests.
The poll, conducted by Environics Research Group on behalf of the Ontario Arts Council, documents the attitudes of the province’s residents toward the arts as an issue of the quality of life, both for individuals and communities.
The survey, which was released on Wednesday, is partly composed of six duplicate questions from the last similar survey, conducted in 1994, and the responses to five showed stronger sentiment in favour of the arts. About 73 per cent of respondents said they would miss the arts if they were not available in their community, up six percentage points from 1994, while 81 per cent said the arts are important to their own quality of life, up seven points.
Of the six repeated questions, the only decline was in those who felt the success of Canadian artists gave them a sense of pride in Canadian achievement, to 95 per cent from 96. Many of the gains came from those who strongly backed the arts.
The survey also shows agreement across all regions of the province and all demographics, although women, those with higher education and those living in larger communities are typically the most ardent arts supporters.

Read the article at the Globe and Mail

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Non-profit groups say B.C. duped them over casino proceeds

A coalition of non-profit groups is calling on Vancouver city council to delay approval of a downtown casino complex until the province agrees to steer more gambling revenue to charities and the arts.
“There are huge pressures on city council and on the city of Vancouver to get this thing signed, sealed and delivered so that Edgewater Casinos can break ground and get their mega-casino built in three years,” Susan Marsden, president of the British Columbia Association for Charitable Gaming, told reporters on Thursday outside City Hall.

Read the Globe and Mail

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cultural deep thinkers have their say

We asked several leading figures in the country’s arts scene what was the one thing they would change about Canada’s cultural policies. Their responses:

Hubert Lacroix, President and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada

I would introduce a process that, at least every decade, reviews the role that CBC/Radio-Canada should play. This process would also align our role with a multi-year financing commitment that allows us to fulfill the expectations that Canadians have of their public broadcaster.

Denise Robert, Quebec producer, co-founder and president of Cinémaginaire

Rephrase “Canadian cultural policies” as “focus on exceptional individual Canadian talents.”

Graham Henderson, President of the Canadian Recording Industry Association

Canada’s cultural industries need to be thought of as industries, not just as “the arts.” They are key economic drivers that contribute significantly to Canada’s GDP and create jobs. Government policy should reflect this. Canada’s digital future is not just about infrastructure; it is also about content. No digital economic strategy can be complete without the cultural industries at the table. This is not currently the case. And it needs to change.


Cultural deep thinkers have their say - thestar.com

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