LETTER: Performing arts make a substantial contribution to Victoria’s economy

As an avid supporter of the performing arts in our community and in particular Pacific Opera Victoria (POV), where I serve as a board member, I am dismayed by the recent decision of the Royal/McPherson Theatre Society (RMTS) to dramatically increase rental rates and restrict access of the local not-for-profit arts groups which rely on the Royal Theatre as the venue for their performances.

While as a result, the Victoria Symphony has already announced the relocation of some of their concerts to the Farquhar Auditorium at UVic, POV does not have that option as it requires the backstage facilities and infrastructure which are only available at the Royal Theatre.

The performing arts make a substantial contribution to the economy of our region. POV alone generated $2.8 million in employment income last year which were jobs for local artists, administrators, crafts people and staff at the Royal Theatre.

To jeopardize the ability of POV and other performing arts organizations that contribute so significantly to the economic and cultural well-being of our communities seems to be poor public policy indeed.

I join with many other arts lovers to ask that the RMTS reconsider their position, particularly given that the Royal Theatre currently generates significant operating surpluses.

I also hope the councils of Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich, all of which make generous contributions to the Royal Theatre, will demand a reassessment of this unfortunate decision of the RMTS.

Mary Collins

Saanich

Just Posted

Almost four of 10 Canadians have unlimited internet data at home

Fifty-four per cent say they telecommute at least sometimes

Esquimalt needs urgent health care facility, mayor says

A severe doctor shortage is leaving Esquimalt residents scrambling for health care

Student Voice: Saanich students launch competitive robotics team

The Reynolds Reybots plan to share their skills with middle schools

Royal BC Museum’s newest series takes visitors behind the scenes

Adult sessions explores art, nature, history and more

What are the worst parking spots in Victoria?

We are looking for the worst places in the city to park and need your opinion

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read