The Wrecking Ball: 2009

In October of last year, just before the federal election, a series of cabarets were held across the country. Organized by The Department of Culture, they were called The Wrecking Ball. Their purpose was to raise awareness in our community that we, as artists, are an important part of the greater political and financial picture here in Canada, and that our voice should be heard by the powers-that-be.

I attended the Vancouver Wrecking Ball, and it was a powerful experience. You can read that post here.

In light of all the recent (and forecasted) cuts to the arts here in BC, another Wrecking Ball has been organized. This one takes place Monday, November 23, 8 pm at the Vogue Theatre. I’ll be there. Daniel MacIvor will be there.  I encourage you to attend, as well.

Here is the information from stopbcartscuts.ca.

Vancouver’s theatre community joins actors, directors and designers from across the country in creative and satirical protest to the BC government’s mind-boggling and short-sighted plan to slash 90% of cultural funding, which will make it the only jurisdiction in Canada not to invest in culture.

In 2008, during the federal election, Wrecking Ball events across Canada helped turn the tide of public opinion against the Harper government’s planned culture cuts, and prevented a Harper majority. This time, events across Canada throughout the month of November will highlight the devastating arts cuts announced by the BC government in their September budget update.

Vancouver’s Wrecking Ball features some of Canada’s most nationally and internationally recognized actors and directors, including multiple award-winning actor/playwrights Daniel MacIvor (House, Twitch City) and Linda Griffiths (Maggie and Pierre), Leacock-winning writer Mark Leiren Young, Alcan Award winner Carmen Aguirre, Steven Hill of Leaky Heaven Circus, and Camyar Chai.wreck_ball32

Margaret Atwood asks, “What is it that power-hungry politicians want from BC artists? Control over the story through the annihilation of the former story-tellers? Is this the agenda behind the decapitation of arts funding in British Columbia, while mega-millions are poured into the Olympics? The BC arts community will retaliate, of course. Over the past 50 years they’ve put BC on the map.”

“It won’t just be a protest,” adds Wrecking Ball Spokesperson Adrienne Wong. “It’ll be a night to laugh and celebrate what we know – that British Columbians care about culture.

“And it’s not just arts and culture,” Wong adds. “Cuts to Gaming investments in many sectors indicate to us that this government is looking for ways to subsidize its corporate welfare, low-tax environment on the backs of civil society organizations that provide essential services to British Columbians. It seems that they don’t think much of activities like culture and sport and places where people come together for reasons other than profit. They call it a frill. We call it democracy.”

Wrecking Ball
Vogue Theatre, 918 Granville Street, Vancouver
Monday, November 23, 2009, 8:00pm
By donation

www.stopbcartscuts.ca/thewreckingball.html

Media contact: Ellie O’Day, O’Day Productions
604.731.3339 / [email protected] / cell 604.313.7902

Vancouver Wrecking Ball Associate Producers: Diane Brown, Kim Collier, Sean Cummings, Bill Devine, Katrina Dunn, Brenda Leadlay, Donnard MacKenzie, Patrick McMullen, Michael Scholar Jr., Caroline Sniatynski, Adrienne Wong, Jonathan Young.

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 2

  1. I wish I understood the concept of taxing everyone so a few can benefit. I love the arts; however, I don’t want to tax everyone so I can enjoy the arts. Why don’t I find a way to pay for myself and others find ways to pay for themselves? Even if I have to have a job other than as an artist to pay the bills isn’t that better than asking someone who isn’t interested in the arts to pay so I can be a full time artist?

    I really don’t understand the concept of “sharing the wealth.” My wealth should be mine and yours should be yours…I don’t want to take from you so I can have something I haven’t worked hard to received.

    I have an obligation morally to help those who are less fortunate such as children and widows; however, I don’t believe I have an obligation to pay the way for a healthy, able bodied artist.

  2. Hi, Vickie;
    I’m so glad you commented. And in a way, I agree with you. Part of the reason I write this blog is because I want us, as artists, to be more self-sufficient, and to operate clean and profitable businesses.
    However, there are a couple of things I want to clear up, as well.
    First of all, the money that these artists have lost (and is leading to the protest) is not a tax. It’s money that the government collects from the sale of lottery tickets. There’s a really great article explaining this on Plank Magazine: http://www.plankmagazine.com/feature/bc-arts-cuts-gaming-money-evaporates-effective-immediately
    Secondly, despite the fact that many arts organizations are not-for-profits so that they can access this money, they take the money and create jobs with it. By creating jobs and spin-offs (ie: going for dinner before a show, drinks after, babysitter, parking, etc), for every dollar the government invests in the arts, we are generating $1.38 in return.
    I like to see that as an investment, not a charity.

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