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My most simple, and, direct question: Premier Christy Clark:

Have you responded to Justine Taylor, Grade 12 Student, Delta Secondary School questions?

A Celebration of Music in Canada

A Celebration of Music in Canada

This is such a wonderful celebration of music across our nation, Canada. To everyone participating let the music ring, and sing, sing, sing too!

The Webcast begins at 12:00 p.m. EDT (1:30 pm NDT, 1:00 ADT, 11:00 a.m. CDT, 10:00 MDT, 9:00 PDT), SO JOIN IN!

UPDATE: Maestro Bramwell Tovey speaks below about the potential cuts of the band and string music program in Vancouver schools.

Happily, the Vancouver School Board Trustees voted on April 30, 2014 to keep the band and string music program in Vancouver Schools for one more year.

The VSB39 will form a task force to help find a solution to making the band and string music program permanent in the Elementary Schools so we will never have to go through the agony of lobbying for this ever again.

Music is alive again in the Elementary Schools in Vancouver, Canada.

……”Music Monday is a nationwide celebration of music education in Canada, organized by the Coalition for Music Education. This year, Vancouver was chosen as the official location where the Music Monday song will be broadcast from.

Christin Reardon MacLellan, president of the Coalition for Music Education in B.C., believes that the large pool of participants shows that music is far from being a niche interest.

“No matter where you’re from, what language you speak, what your background is,” she says, “music is common to everyone.”

The Music Monday song, entitled I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing) was co-commissioned by the coalition and CBC Music, and written by Commander Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson.

This year, Hadfield will be in Edmonton, participating in the nationwide performance led by Maestro Bramwell Tovey in Vancouver.

“I think the main goal of Music Monday is to show how much support there is for music across Canada,” says Tovey. “And to celebrate that role that music plays in young people’s lives while at the same time showing those in a position of power to help propagation of music in education to realize that there actually is a tremendous amount of support for music.”

The importance of music education hits close to home for Tovey, as he was deeply influenced by music education as a child. “I went to a state school in the U.K. I was able to join the orchestra, I was able to join the local band, to play piano at concerts, do a lot of accompanying of choirs, singing in choirs, all of this under the school system,” he says.

“Without that experience, and without that window on the wider world which was given to me in school, I probably would not have achieved what I’ve been very fortunate to achieve over the course of my career.”

While the live webcast is a large part of the event, there are a number of other activities planned. Tovey will be answering questions as part of a segment called “Meet the Maestro”. Reardon MacLellan, and others, will give speeches in favour of music education. Also, there will be a special segment in Vancouver called “Uniformed Musicians”.

“We have adults from any walk of life, you know, many different careers, many different backgrounds who still have music as an important part of their lives,” says Reardon MacLellan. “They dress up in their work uniforms, whatever that might be, and they perform with the kids. It’s to communicate the importance of lifelong music making.”

This event is coming at a tender time for the Vancouver school board. They will vote tonight (April 30), on a proposal by school board chair Patti Bacchus to give the elementary band and strings program a one-year reprieve and create a task force to analyze how the program can become sustainable for future years.

Tonight’s decision will turn Vancouver’s Music Monday into either a celebration or a lament. All that the musicians can do is hope for the best.

“I’m hoping that Patti Bacchus’s proposal is adopted unanimously by the school board,” says Tovey. “With that stay of execution, the importance of music can be evaluated in the calm of a year’s grace, and all who are interested in the state of music in the schools can support the VSB and lobby the provincial government to see if we can put music on a more secure permanent footing.”

Music Monday will take place at the Telus World of Science on May 5 in Vancouver and all across Canada.


ATTEND the Vancouver School Board Budget Meeting, open to the public, Tuesday April 15, 2014 at Mt. Pleasant Elementary School – 7pm. #NOMusicEducationCuts #InvestInVanKids

Here is WHY:

Watch this and think about how we in British Columbia can be inspired to address, in concrete ways, child poverty in our province through music:

If this report is true then I say kudos to Minister Falcon and Premiere Christy Clark.

Looking to favourably invest in the Arts in British Columbia is a smart move – even in tough times!

I will add my two cents to the Provincial Budget process.

You can add yours too!

Have your say in the 2012 Budget Consultations! It’s your money! Here is a link:

Here is the triple fiscal whammy that the BC Minister of Finance faces after the defeat of the HST in BC and the costs of returning to the PST system:

  1. A direct loss of revenues
  2. Combined with an obstacle to needed growth
  3. Combined with no demonstrable public appetite for increasing other taxes

As Skip Triplett, the independent reviewer, appointed by Premier Christy Clark, for BC Community Gaming Grants winds up its public hearing process on September 17, 2011 perhaps this is the time to make positive statements, with positive solutions, that might result in positive outcomes for the future of BC Community Gaming Grants funding in BC.

This is a time in BC, where, from my humble perch, I see lots of people still purchasing lottery tickets, (and winning too); lots of people still going to the races; and the Casinos are still relatively holding their own; all of which means there are still revenues, tax revenues, coming into the BC Government controlled “Gaming” coffers.

I shall participate in the review process with a 5 minute oral presentation on September 16 at approximately 5.05 pm at the:

Vancouver Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel

1133 West Hastings St., Vancouver

8:30 a.m. to noon

1 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (obviously going longer than 5 pm!)

I encourage people to attend these hearings, minimally, to show interest in this review and in doing so, by simply a show of sheer numbers of warm bodies attending, make a statement toward positive change.

I also encourage people to look at the Website and follow Skip Triplett on Twitter – his handle is @skiptriplett and his latest, (of many good posts), is:

For those of you not attending in Vancouver here is a link to my presentation: (but you cannot hear the audio in this version because the audio in the original PowerPoint presentation will not load in “slideshare…”)

All comments are welcome; thank you!


Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Ida Chong –

“Arts in British Columbia enrich families and support careers, while infusing creative and economic energy into communities in every region of the province. We will continue to work with artists and cultural organizations through the BC Arts Council, our principal development and funding agency for the arts, to build on British Columbia’s well-deserved international reputation for artistic excellence.”

Thank you to Minister Ida Chong and the Province of British Columbia for maintaining the support level of funding for the Arts and Culture Sector.

I also appreciate and thank Minister Shirley Bond for her ongoing due diligence with the provincial review of gaming grants to the not for profit sector and especially the arts and culture sectors.

Just maybe, times they are a changin…..

Dear Premier Christy Clark:

Please help, if you will and can, move along the appointment of the Commissioner to review the gaming grants guidelines and infrastructure, specifically related to arts and culture not for profits in BC.

The Vancouver Children’s Festival is the latest one hit hard; and soon to be a casualty.

Once these kinds of organizations fail, based on their belief and planning in decent and consistent government funding, and then this decent and consistent government funding also fails them, (in the case of the VICF at the last possible minute), they never, almost never, are resurrected.

This, in the case of the Vancouver Children’s Festival; truly a “Families First” organization that most deserves not to fail.

Timing is everything and now is the time to move forward.

I appeal to you, Premier Clark, to stick to, and, act upon your words, (during your campaign to become the leader of the BC Liberal Party), to restore arts and culture funding in BC to 2008 levels; this will also be a good start.

Thank you for listening and please take action now.


Susan Weiss

Help the Vancouver Children's Festival

I can hear it now – ticket prices don’t cover costs; where is the strategic plan to retire the deficit; and the tickets cost too much for families!

Let’s get on Premier Christy Clark’s bandwagon “Families First” and put our collective heads and hearts together to make sure there is another Vancouver Children’s Festival.

Is there anyone out there who can help launch a “VCF Crowdsourcing Campaign” to retire the deficit?

Is there anyone out there who can help launch a Social Media Campaign?

Most of all, everyone in Vancouver has some tangible benefit from this long standing festival for children and families. (Heck, I took my nieces to the VCF some decades ago!)

PLEASE, step up to the plate and donate even just 14 loonies – I am sure there are at least 10000 people in Vancouver who can do this.

I can, and will! Here is the link to do so:

PS: VCF Board and Management – Forget about waiting and/or counting on government subsidies; let’s make a long term strategic partnership for  a “New Philanthropy” model – count me in and VCF you can find me on this Blog – I am willing to help!

March 31, 2011

Honourable Minister Ida Chong:

I appreciate that you have extended the courtesy to me of a personal response to my email, (forwarded to you by MLA Jane Thornthwaite); thank you very much!

I am also delighted to know you as an arts and culture advocate. We both understand the contribution that arts and culture make to a vibrant society.

Moving forward I shall continue to collaborate/coordinate with MLA Jane Thornthwaite, North Vancouver-Seymour, (who I know is also a strong advocate for our community arts and culture programs), in sharing my thoughts and ideas to shape new ways to create self supporting, sustainable arts and culture programs into the future that move beyond simple grants. 

All I request of you, Honourable Minister Ida Chong, is that you listen carefully in the background to ideas that MLA Jane Thornthwaite may bring to you as a result of our collaboration, and, to act, as I know that you will, to conscientiously engage in a dialogue with her, and later myself if you so desire.

In the meantime, you have

my kindest regards,

Susan C. Weiss

Cc: MLA Jane Thornthwaite, North Vancouver Seymour

Cc: Premier Christy Clark

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