The recent news that the Vancouver Playhouse has closed its doors came as a huge blow to the performing-arts community across Canada [“Minister Ida Chong defends $3 million in unallocated discretionary arts funding”, web-only]. Yes, some in Vancouver might be surprised to know that the rest of the country cares about what happens in your city.
The Vancouver Playhouse has been responsible for some excellent productions, many of which made their way as far as Winnipeg and beyond. The Playhouse has also been a place for Vancouver artists to hone their craft and go on to perform across the continent.
The closing of the Playhouse does not just leave a large hole in the cultural community of Vancouver, B.C., and Canada, it also means the loss of several jobs in a sector that is chronically underfunded. These jobs involve relatively low-paid, highly productive artistic and administrative personnel who may be lost to your city and province forever. From a purely financial and business perspective, this loss of trained and talented people is worth much more than $1 million.
I would suggest that the minister, Ida Chong, take some of the $3 million in arts funding left to her discretion and use it to help the Vancouver Playhouse continue to provide live theatre for your community and all of Canada.
> Scott Henderson / Winnipeg