LETTER: Performing arts make a substantial contribution to Victoria’s economy

As an avid supporter of the performing arts in our community and in particular Pacific Opera Victoria (POV), where I serve as a board member, I am dismayed by the recent decision of the Royal/McPherson Theatre Society (RMTS) to dramatically increase rental rates and restrict access of the local not-for-profit arts groups which rely on the Royal Theatre as the venue for their performances.

While as a result, the Victoria Symphony has already announced the relocation of some of their concerts to the Farquhar Auditorium at UVic, POV does not have that option as it requires the backstage facilities and infrastructure which are only available at the Royal Theatre.

The performing arts make a substantial contribution to the economy of our region. POV alone generated $2.8 million in employment income last year which were jobs for local artists, administrators, crafts people and staff at the Royal Theatre.

To jeopardize the ability of POV and other performing arts organizations that contribute so significantly to the economic and cultural well-being of our communities seems to be poor public policy indeed.

I join with many other arts lovers to ask that the RMTS reconsider their position, particularly given that the Royal Theatre currently generates significant operating surpluses.

I also hope the councils of Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich, all of which make generous contributions to the Royal Theatre, will demand a reassessment of this unfortunate decision of the RMTS.

Mary Collins

Saanich

Just Posted

Backyardigans, Max & Ruby stage shows add to Family Day in Sidney

Bodine Hall shows make room for kids to sing, dance, enjoy Family Day weekend

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes says municipality will re-group after Rowing Canada decision

Haynes said he is “quite disappointed” but also respects choice of North Cowichan as national centre

WATCH: Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

Poster calls driving ‘dangerous, obnoxious and disrespectful’

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Most Read