The council could take a second look
Last week we discussed the council's refusal to make any grant to the Intermedia Society to help pay for an imaginative grass roots summer festival.
Following this up, we asked Mayor Tom Cambell why the council had turned it down completely without even a moments debate. This is his reply:
"We didn't know who they were, other than just another group asking for a grant.
"If they handled it properly and got some prominent citizens it might be different. I don't even know who the principles are.
"How can we give money to a group we have never heard of before?
"We might consider it if they come up and show us that they are a responsible group, that they will preform.
"We have lost our festival and a lot of culture with it, but some of these funds might still be available."
Mayor Cambell could not have bothered to read the application put to council by Intermedia, for it contained this information:
"Intermedia is a duly incorporated, nonprofit society under the laws of the Provence of British Columbia. The Board of Directors are the only registered members. They are as follows:
Mr. Joseph Kyle, Chairman, Management Consultant associated with the Faculty of Education at SFU.
Mr. Jack Shadbolt, Artist.
Dr. A.R. MacKinnon, Dean of Education at SFU.
Dr. J.F. Ellis, Head of Professional Foundations, UBC.
Prof. Henry Elder, Head of the School of Architecture at UBC.
Mr. Victor Doray, Head of Medical Illustrations, Faculty of Medicine
Mr. G. Massey, Architect, Erickson-Massey.
"The Management Committee is composed of the following members:
Mr. Werner Aellen, Executive Director.
Mayor Cambell and other council members may be excused for not being acquainted with every one of these names.
But we cannot beleave they have not heard of names like Jack Shadbolt, Dr. MacKinnon, Dr. Ellis, Professor Elder, Victor Doray, Geoffrey Massey, Tom Koch, Helen Goodwin and Doris Shadbolt.
The Intermedia application also included a Statement of purpose and Intent which among other things, said: " In this day of electronics and technology, each new development within the society has pointed up a vast number of new possibilities of sensory experiences to the point of confusion.
"The number of conflicting impacts arriving simultaneously to the mind and the senses is overwhelming. Mass education is falling short of these new advances and the need is for creative people to produce new teaching tools utilizing the new technology now inherent in the society.
"Intermedia is a non-profit organization supported primarily by grants from the Canada Council, as well as aid from Simon fraser University, University of British Columbia, the Koerner Foundation and the Vancouver School of Art.
"The explorations and experiments at Intermedia are currently involving educators, social and behavioral scientists, designers and technologists, as well as many established artists working on theater, dance, electronic sound, film, photography, and other media."
Finally, the application listed the events that Intermedia proposed for its grassroots summer festival with estimated costs, and we summarized these in last weeks article.
We urge that Mayor Tom Cambell and his council retrieve their copies of this application and take a closer look at them. Perhaps then they will decide to take a more positive look at the proposal and release some of those festival funds for this worthwhile venture.
Council also rejected an application by the Vancouver International Film Festival. On this occasion alderman Earl Adams merely stated that "this is just another commercial venture" and council passed on to its next busness without further ado.
Yet this is the only internationally recognized film festival now operating in Canada. It is also a festival that is dedicated to the development and promotion of Canadian film as one of its aims.
It has an international panel of judges making awards to the best films in its categories. It is a prestige event that could carry the name of Vancouver into every film center in the world once it is well established- as in the case of Cannes, Venice, Berlin, San Sabastian and other established festival cities.
Is it any more commercial than the Vancouver Symphony? Is it more commercial than the festival the council so readily gave so much money to last year?
Another application has now been made to council to support a proposed festival day in Gastown with dancing in the street. Will that suffer the same fate?
Before it does we appear to council to take a closer look at all these expressed desires of people of Vancouver to bring a little life and fun and graciousness into the town.
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