Thursday, March 27, 2008

Developing Story Regarding the CBC Radio Orchestra

I have just been informed via a widely distributed email that the members of the CBC Radio Orchestra in Vancouver have been called to attend a meeting with Mark Steinmetz, director of Radio Music, Alain Trudel, Principal Conductor of the orchestra, and another member of the CBC staff scheduled for this afternoon at 4:30pm PDT in the Georgian Court Hotel in downtown Vancouver.

At this point, all that is known is that an announcement will be made to the orchestra. I'll update this story as soon as more facts are available.

Update 6:24 EDT:

I have just received word (subject to confirmation) that the CBC Radio Orchestra is indeed being cut. I have also received word that the Globe and Mail is at this hour interviewing members of the Vancouver musical community for what will probably be a story in tomorrow's paper.

Colin Miles of the Canadian Music Centre BC Region is organizing a rally in front of the Georgian Court Hotel for this afternoon at 4:30pm PDT (one hour from now), so if you're in Vancouver and care about the future of the musical community, do try to drop by what promises to be a very sad gathering.


  1. I was thinking about where their future lies given CBC radio's current programming mandate...

    Perhaps the CBC will replace the Orchestra with a string quartet with a drum kit, accordian and an electric bass, to better reflect Canada's musical diversity.

  2. No doubt they have the business plan and demographic studies to support such an idea!

  3. Truly horrible. The CBC is no longer an organization that can be said to reflect the public good.

  4. Anonymous8:07 PM

    A radio station should not be funding an orchestra from tax payer dollars. Virtually every other radio station has long since stopped that. There are, however, many other existing classical music groups, orchestras etc. that they could and SHOULD be broadcasting - a far better use of funds, IMO.

  5. This one is a hard one to call. I think we must rage against all budget cuts at the CBC, and against the dumbing down of the programming. But perhaps there is a better use of the money. I bet most of the orchestra members also play for chamber groups that would love to have more concerts recorded for broadcast. Will the money saved go for that? Probably not, but that's what we should demand.


  6. Mary, your optimism is encouraging but based on the premise that it's better to have ten concerts with four musicians than one concert with 40!

    There is no better use for this money. It only makes sense to say that in a culture where arts money is thrown into some kind of utilitarian calculus against things like education and housing.

    Under that rubric, all arts money is a frivolity.

    People in the arts community really need to start getting away from this logic, because it is the logic everyone is using, from governments to corporations, to push the arts out of being a social good, and into the realm of mere entertainment.

    It is the logic of people who care very little for the arts they are in a position to fund.