A letter from the Pacific Baroque Orchestra to Minister of Housing and Social Development Rich Coleman outlines the impact of the gaming grant freeze and possible grant cuts.
Written by general manager Nancy Cottingham Powell, the letter notes: "If the government chooses to withhold or reduce our committed gaming funds...we will not have the funds to pay our musicians to perform in this upcoming season....This situation is a house of cards and our organization could very well be brought to its knees after 19 years of presenting world-class music to our audience."
Also, attached in PDF form, is the letter of approval from the government for the group's multi-year funding. Some groups are threatening legal action should the government renege on its multi-year funding commitment.
Dear Mr Coleman,
I want to make sure you are fully aware of the impact not receiving our committed Direct Access Grant funds would have on the Pacific Baroque Orchestra.
It has been a challenging year for our organization, as it has for many other non-profits, businesses and governments. We have worked diligently this year to take a hard look at our systems and be as lean and productive as possible to support the presentation of the music that is important to the cultural fabric of British Columbia (if we trim any further we will be cutting into flesh). We are still challenged to make our revenue goals but we believe we can do it through hard work, support of people who love this music and belief in what we are doing.
If the government chooses to withhold or reduce our committed gaming funds (we are in the middle of a three year grant commitment – see attached letter) we will not have the funds to pay our musicians to perform in this upcoming season (first concert October 24). This will completely undermine our ability to fulfill our mandate as a society.
If we are unable to come up with the $37,000 to cover musicians fees then we will have to scramble to completely re-work our season, refunding money to subscribers and possibly having to return federal, city and other provincial grants because we will not be able to honor our original commitment to our vision. This situation is a house of cards and our organization could very well be brought to its knees after 19 years of presenting world-class music to our audience.
I understand the provincial government has financial challenges too but you need to understand that there is no fat to trim in the non- profit sector. Any cut backs affect us all deeply, particularly when given no notice to try and find alternative funds. Please do not jeopardize decades of hard work. You could unravel our whole sector by withholding committed gaming funds. This will affect all British Columbians.
Nancy Cottingham Powell
General Manager, Pacific Baroque Orchestra