Backhoe Drivers dig live BC Theatre (click image for larger version)
Columbians and Canadians Speak Out Against Funding Cuts
Dan “Grizz” Pinette is willing to make personal sacrifices to
support live theatre. When the Sunset
Theatre in Wells suffered extensive roof damage from the high snow load
in the winter of 2009, he was quick to offer to shave off all his hair to
raise money for repairs.
“ It was the first time in 39 years I was without my beard, and it felt strange,” said Grizz, “but it was worth it.” His community raised over $9000 to help repair the theatre and he was able to contribute $5700.00 of that. The Sunset Theatre is resuming its programming this summer.
Pinette’s passion for theatre leaves him shaking his head over recent cuts to arts funding in BC. “Culture was the Second Pillar of the Olympics,” he says, “so why would the government cut it down with a financial chainsaw?”
According to Sue Porter, Executive Director of the Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance, “many companies are struggling with large debt loads after having funding withdrawn after being assured it would come.”
Others have had to cancel their outreach programs to youth and seniors, as they have just enough to keep the doors open, but not enough to be able to engage the communities they work in more widely.
Bas Rynsewyn of Serious Moonlight Productions in Prince George notes that the cuts are adding pressure to stage more productions of American works that draw audiences, and we can expect to see fewer works from Canadian playwrights. “Call it another form of outsourcing,” he said.
Grizz is upset that the arts cuts have led some of BC’s greatest
creators, administrators, and technical staff to leave for other jurisdictions. “It
makes me feel like Shakespeare’s King Lear – ‘howl, howl,
For further information, contact Bill Horne at Amazing
Space Studio, Wells, BC 250-994-2332 mazing at claireart dot ca
Home page of claireart.caTo support the production of this series you can...
If anyone wants to reproduce this or any other photos
in this series,