CBC Public Demonstration Scheduled

On Sunday, April 20, Save the CBC Orchestra Committee has scheduled a live protest demonstration for this Sunday in Vancouver at 2PM PT…

April 16, 2008

Wednesday April 16, 2008  … Standing on guard for the CBC Radio Orchestra,
April 20 at 2:00 pm

CBC Radio Two listeners are following up on last week’s successful staging of a
coast to coast National Day Of Action to demand CBC brass back down on their
apparent systematic destruction of the Radio 2 network and their decision to
replace it with programming completely foreign to its core audiences. The rally
Sunday is a call to the CBC Board and Management to restore the CBC Radio
Orchestra within a revitalized CBC Radio Two.

The rally on Sunday starting at 2:00 pm is an hour before the orchestra’s
regularly scheduled, and nearly sold-out, performance at 3:00 pm. 

The natural amphitheatre at the Chan entrance is a dramatic location, which
will accommodate an impressive number of supporters, while allowing the 1,200
concert-goers easy access.

“It’s not the usual sort of prelude to an afternoon of live music at the Chan”
said Canadian Music Centre head Colin Miles. “This situation has become a
flashpoint for the general downgrading of CBC by the people who have been
entrusted with our precious public broadcasting system."

“We are seeing the end of a cultural treasure that serves Canadians coast to
coast and is an essential player in our musical exports to the world.
Elimination of the CBC Orchestra is the destruction of our ability to tell our
stories.  It amounts to censorship and stifling of free expression of our
composers" he stated.

“At 2 cents per year per person, how can CBC management, the board and
Parliament agree to this? The issue has now been raised on the floor of the
House of Commons and we will be keeping the pressure up.” added Colin Miles.

Three years ago CBC management stopped the CBC Orchestra from working in the
studio to record music for broadcast and CDs and told they could only give
public performances. Renting concert halls and paying for publicity to promote
concerts is expensive. This orchestra has a recording studio that was built for
them and well trained creative producer, recording engineer and orchestra
librarian on staff. CBC management needs to be reminded what power in creating
programming they have by keeping their orchestra. We are calling on CBC to
restore the orchestra and get the musicians back into the studio to do what
they do best for the benefit of all of Canada. As the CBC Radio Orchestra’s own
webpage states "With an audience as diverse as the Canadian experience, we
create engaging musical radio programs, commission and perform new works as
well as established classics, and showcase exceptional Canadian performers and

Rally organized by:
Save the CBC Orchestra Committee
Based in Vancouver, Reaching Across the Country

Additional online resources:

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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