On The Scene Reporting From Montreal

No, I’m not at Montreal today to cover the CBC protests (although it would be nice to take at trip) but Adaptistration readers will get an on the scene report from one of the protest event organizers, Alexandra Fol. Alexandra. a Bulgarian-born composer who moved to Canada because of what she described as "its known commitment to concert music" is also the admin for the Save the CBC Radio Orchestra!
group at Facebook.com. I spoke with Alexandra  at 12:00 noon ET this afternoon  for a few minutes as the protesters were getting set up for their demonstration. Here’s  the audio from that conversation:

Barring any technical or weather related difficulties, you’ll find some photos and video from the event too. Regardless of the outcome, it will be as close to live coverage as we’re going to get…

AlexandrafolWhen asked why she started the Facebook group, Alexandra said she put the group together shortly
after learning that the orchestra was to be dismantled.

"The decision to [dissolve the orchestra] was announced to the players only 6 hours before
the official press-release and was done without any consultation with
the public," said Alexandra. "I was convinced that the public whom the change was supposed to serve, was not going to be thrilled once they know. Within six-seven days my Facebook group grew to be 5,447 members.

The demonstration was suggested by me, but called by fellow
composer Frans Ben Callado, who proposed the date and time.," said Alexandra. "For a demonstration to be noticed it has to happen during office hours when people – including CBC officials – work, and students
have classes.

UPDATE, 3:25PM ET: Snow storm indeed, here are the latest photos from the protest rally:

Montrealdemonstration01 Montrealdemonstration02
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About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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