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City of the Arts gets behind classical music

The City of the Arts should include a classical music concert series, according to Coun. Rick Glumac.

The City of the Arts should include a classical music concert series, according to Coun. Rick Glumac.

"We are the City of the Arts and one of the areas where we maybe haven't been as strong in the arts is in music," he said at Tuesday's meeting, at which council was considering several requests from the Yarilo Contemporary Music Society.

Earlier this month Yarilo asked council for fees to be waived for a centennial concert in June 16, a scholarship fundraising concert and for an ongoing concert series. The group also sought permission to fundraise for a grand piano for Inlet Theatre.

"We have a unique opportunity to support an organization within our community," Glumac said. He suggested Yarilo shouldn't have to pay for theatre and staff time for the centennial concert, since other centennial events, such as the parade, aren't being required to do the same.

That motion was carried, with Coun. Rosemary Small voting against it (councillors Zoe Royer and Gerry Nuttall were absent).

Glumac also said the theatre and staff time should be offered to Yarilo as in-kind support for a scholarship fundraising concert, noting it wouldn't commit the city to long-term funding and provides support for talented young musicians. That recommendation passes unanimously.

But Glumac's recommendation to hammer out an agreement between the city and Yarilo to develop a classical music series at the Inlet Theatre drew concern from Coun. Diana Dilworth, who said it could set a "huge precedent" for other cultural groups looking for free theatre time; she voted against the recommendation.

Devin Jain, manager of cultural services, said such a series would begin on a trial, cost-recovery basis that would hopefully lead to a profit-sharing agreement.

A fourth recommendation to have staff report back on the potential costs of building a storage facility for a grand piano at Inlet Theatre also carried, with Dilworth and Coun. Bob Elliott opposed.

"There's no point fundraising for a piano if there's nowhere to store it," said Mayor Mike Clay.

Jain suggested possible storage options could include building out from the side of the theatre. Existing wing space is needed during events for performers and set pieces, and storing it in the Galleria posed security concerns and significant moving costs each time it needs to be brought into the theatre.