Wasted words of arts-culture wisdom

One eyeopener I have experienced since shuffling from an ink-stained media hack to a dark-side councillor position has been the attention and interpretation given in your average news story to my astounding words of wisdom.

On that note, I would like to repeat comments made this week when council selected a future Centre in the Square mandate that leans more toward local arts-culture groups than it does to commercial interests and profits. I was one of a council majority that voted in favour of a qualified arts-culture option that includes requestingt a resolution to a spat between the orchestra and Centre over prime booking dates.

Only the “moderation” phrase was found in The Record’s coverage of a subject in which I actually commented:

“As it says in the Centre report, creative people live in creative communities….the Centre is an important economic contributor and a magnet for economic and community development.

There are those who argue we can’t afford our Centre in the Square, art gallery and symphony. And I would remind those who are strictly for the dollars and cents that all our economic reports and strategies show, time and again, that performing arts provide a priceless vitality that results in a diverse and healthy economy.

In other words, one sure way to attract industrial and commercial activity along with jobs to Kitchener is to support arts and culture.

Through the weekend, I enjoyed some outstanding theatre at the Registry, I saw some generous community support at a gala for the symphony and noted the new art exhibition opening for schoolkids at the art gallery.

That’s a good example of an extremely healthy arts-culture environment in Kitchener — one I supported in the past election and one I will continue to support.

I have no qualms about providing the necessary money to help the Centre regain its past glory but I don’t want to see that happen if it causes financial and other grief for the symphony and the art gallery. I want to see moderation.”


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2 Responses to Wasted words of arts-culture wisdom

  1. Bill says:

    > I have no qualms about providing the necessary money to help the Centre regain its past glory

    That’s all well and good, but isn’t the issue that the Centre seems to be repeatedly unable to operate within its budget? If it isn’t in place already, helpful to them would be a definitive yearly contribution committment – to be counted upon within the budgeting process. When they exceed their budget again, if government doesn’t leave it to be their problem to resolve, how will it ever get through to them that they have to operate within their budget? There must be consequences. Just like there would be for any other business – and it is a business. There may be a profit target of zero rather than as much as they can accomplish, but a business it is no less. For which there are limited resources within which they must live. And if they can’t, just like any other business, they go under and someone else buys the assets and operates at a more limited, and finacially sustainable not community sucking, level.

    I’m so very tired of hearing about Centre In The Square, and so much external time and energy being spent upon it. Either they can operate within their budget like any other establishment, or they can’t and they go under. There are too many other things to deal with out in the world to be continually coming back to this one.

  2. Dianne Bates says:

    “One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”
    ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship
    Need to find someone who can run the Centre so that it is efficient and cost effective with ever vigilant oversight from Kitchener Council. The past has been fraught with partisanship, bickering and mismanagement. We need a blend of local arts-culture groups and commercial interests that make the centre viable in the future.

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