Saturday, March 29, 2008

A Letter From Two Vancouver Residents

Ita Kane-Wilson sends along the following letter to CBC Director of Radio Mark Steinmetz from Vancouver residents Anakana and her 8-year-old son Cuan:

Dear Mark Steinmetz,

My eight year old son went off to sleep this evening humming the first movement of Vivaldi's Spring which he would have heard on CBC Radio. He listed his top three favourite pieces of music as Beethoven's 5th, Vivaldi's Spring and Bach's Joy of Man's desiring. I had to inform him on the way home from school that the people like your good self and Jennifer, who are making decisions on behalf of our publicly funded national broadcaster and thus the listening public who fund the CBC, think it's a bright idea to disband the single treasure we have in this, often otherwise dull city -- our charming and last of it's kind CBC Radio Orchestra.

What are you thinking? You're certainly not thinking of that eight year old's possibility to become further educated and enlightened on Canadian composers and musicians continued contribution to classical music. He'll never be able to sit the way he did at the Shostakovich 100 and have the excitement of knowing that what he's hearing will also in time be heard in tiny kitchens on rocky outcrops on the East coast. That intimate orchestra that is so unique and solidified an interest and love of music in a young child. An occasion where he heard loud and clear that Canadian composers and musicians are valued by their people.

I can't believe we'll never have the hope of those words ...."played by the CBC Radio Orchestra ..."

It's not the same to hear that the blah blah symphony worked with x composer. All those orchestras are tied up with heavy marketing -- the CBC Orchestra is only ever about music and Canadian music and it's unfathomable to me that you would make such [an] about face decision.

This country suffers from an incredible inferiority complex and this is just another example of not having frankly the balls to hold onto something that's valued by the public in unquantifiable ways that middle manager types cannot type up into excel spreadsheets. Of course it doesn't make financial sense, good art rarely does. That's the point, it's why you have to be brave and stand up for it.

What is happening to the CBC? They're turning on the very people who sustain it and love it.

Why not stand out and hold onto the fact that it's the last Radio Orchestra in N America. Why not allow the public to continue to love and treasure it. Why not actively promote it?

I cannot understand it, Ireland was a poor country for a very long time, yet we always had our radio orchestra. I think nations know when they need to hold onto things. I hope Canadians will send a strong message to the CBC that you haven't the right to take our radio orchestra from us.

And what about that eight year old. We are a low income family, and yet he still found his way to those composers. The continued existence of the radio orchestra offers the same to future generations of eight year olds and for him to mature with the idea that music, and esp. Canadian music actually has value for Canada. Don't give me any of this old blather about how you plan to invest the money ... just

Reverse this awful decision. Please.


Anakana and Cuan (age 8)

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