In the 1980’s the Vancouver Symphony was on strike – in a way, a sort of a forced lock out, because the VSO was “bankrupt” and not just in a monetary sense.

Today, I reflect on why I was asked to write a “Financial Recovery Plan” for this organization by the BC Provincial Government – Arts and Culture Sector.

Indeed, at the time, the VSO was “gaga” with all kinds of plans: fundraising, sponsorship, publicity, and marketing, – Danny Newman’s “Subscribe Now”, (just to name a few); and there was one plan, the strategic plan, that was missing: a coherent and articulated “Artistic Plan”.

Happily, today we can savour the success of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra coming back from the “brink” with strategic leadership and resplendent artistry of Maestro Bramwell Tovey.

This leads me to Michael Kaiser’s post  putting the cart before the horse, (or not). And, that in this day in age the questions still need to be asked….in this case by Boards of Directors. The community “gatekeepers” or, in my opinion, guardians of our arts and culture organizations.

As the City of Vancouver moves forward with the planned Concert Hall Complex,, under the current Vancouver Art Gallery, I truly hope that all Vancouver arts and culture organizations, musicians, composers, artists, the general public, and those planning this magnificent and much needed complex, do some serious soul searching BEFORE inking any deal with anyone!

Thank you Maestro Slatkin for your succinct and brilliant words – “Ultimately, it’s not about the label, but about the product inside”. The attention should always be on the music, not on the person – always.” DSO’s Leonard Slatkin