Orchestra London Woes

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Many have already commented about the news of Orchestra London. I’m probably just going to echo what a few others have said but I need to get my thoughts into this.

For years Orchestra London has had challenges. They have attempted to move (although slowly IMHO) to try and bring a new audience base in. Centennial hall is not the ideal venue for this sort of event. I echo what many say, I tend to avoid going to events there as the seating is just so darn uncomfortable.

What angers me the most is that it looks like someone knew of growing problems in the early summer. And yet it was kept quiet, I assume one of the reasons would be because of a campaign for Mayor starting up.

Relying on a single large source of funding is always a risky thing. When the funding fails to come through, stalling on your required financial report shows a lack of transparency to your own staff, the city and the public as a whole. There are many other groups and organizations that get city funding. This sort of thing unfortunately tars them with the same brush in some circles.

This has put council in a no win situation. Hopefully at the very least a solution can be worked out by council and staff to prevent this from happening again. For now I hope the following happens;

The City Of London;
From what I understand that city is on the hook for some of this amount owing. At the very least pay the staff what they are owed, and honor any other financial commitments as is required. It’s going to cost us far more if lawsuits start flying.

If financial reports are late then alarm bells need to start going off. (For the record I don’t know if was happening).

Orchestra London;
Do not extend any more funding until a plan can come up from an organization that hopefully can rise from the old. The artists themselves are starting to represent themselves on social media and this can only help to showcase what the orchestra does.

Look at relationships with other arts and community organizations in town as well as other Orchestra’s in the area.

Find ways to bring the music to people who may have preconceived notions. For example many people love movie soundtracks but then say they have never listened to classical music.

 

Update Dec 18th 2014

Council has decided to follow’s staff advice and not pay any more funds to Orchestra London.  This is does not surprise and in light of more information since I wrote the original post it makes sense.  This is definitely a case of what I would love verses what is sensible for the community.

 

Posted in Random Thoughts, Rants Tagged with: , ,

Post election

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I remember four years ago when the municipal election results came in, I was disappointed in some of the results, but I did have hope that as in the past council could work together to service the citizens of the city.

My hopes were dashed a few short months later when we saw the push to 0% on the first budget. Many people noticed that some on council seemed woefully unprepared for meetings. Many seemed to have not even read the reports and agendas that were presented to them. There also seem to be much polarization with a voting block known as the Fontana 8. Party type politics seemed to have arrived in our city.

Compare that to this election night, as the votes started coming in there was a sense that something big was happening. Within a very short time the atmosphere turned electric as people realized that many changes were going to happen.

In the end things turned out better than I hoped. Some races were surprise upsets, some the margin of victory was greater than expected.

Hopefully this new council with many new faces and a new Mayor can start working better together and bring some new ideas that will benefit all in London and area. People have said with so many new faces it will be a steep learning curve and I agree but the city has a good staff who know their stuff. Hopefully this council will listen to them more.

One last thought,  it is still important to keep this level of engagement continuing, not just for us citizens but for those who are serving on council.  Having an idea on what we as citizen’s of this great city are thinking will only help them in the difficult decisions that lie ahead.

 

 

Posted in Politics, Random Thoughts

2014 City Council Endorsements

Well after a very long and notable campaign, we are finally at the end of it. There have been some positive and negative things in this campaign cycle and hopefully we can all learn from it. Thanks should be given to everyone who put their name forward as well as the countless hours put in by the volunteers in each campaign.

The following is who I would vote for if I lived in every ward.

Ward 1: Michael van Holst
Ward 2: Nancy McSloy
Ward 3: Mo Salih
Ward 4: Jesse Helmer
Ward 5: Kevin Labonte
Ward 6: Mike Bloxam
Ward 7: Josh Morgan
Ward 8: Paul Hubert
Ward 9: Anna Hopkins
Ward 10: Virginia Ridley
Ward 11: Stephen Turner
Ward 12: Peter Ferguson
Ward 13: Tanya Park
Ward 14: Jared Zaifman

And finally for Mayor: Matt Brown

Most importantly, please get out and vote.

Posted in Politics

Terrorism in Ottawa – Some Thoughts.

An accurate definition of terrorist has never been defined. The term “terrorism” comes from French terror, from Latin: ‘terror’, “great fear”, “dread”, related to the Latin verb terrere, “to frighten”. (1)

Today Ottawa experienced an attack by one or more people who could be called terrorists. At this point we don’t know what if any groups were behind this. It is simply too early and foolish to make any assumptions on this. The specialists will be working to find the answers in the days and weeks ahead. Prime Minister Harper links it to Canada’s actions abroad. This needs to be confirmed either way.

Some random thoughts of the day in no particular order.

Although there will be an investigation on how this individual got in the building, the Parliament Hill security force led by Parliament Sgt of Arms Kevin Vickers stopped the shooter in a fairly short time and without anyone else being killed. It is reported that they have been training for such a possibility happening. Like many first responders he ran toward the danger to protect his fellow citizens. A true steward of the role he has.

It is very hard to stop a single or small group of attackers if they are bent on doing an act like this without worrying about surviving the attack. We saw that on Sept 11th 2001.

How are we to find a baseline to balance our freedoms and democracy with the need to gather and try to prevent this sort of event? We have seen what has happened in the US when too much power is given originally for the right reasons but then allowed to run out of control in some cases.

We will see a rare time when all political parties and citizen’s of all faiths will come together to support those who stopped this attack happening and will agree that as Canadians we must stand together against this sort of event.

We must not allow ourselves to become angry towards those faith groups that these terrorist groups claim to be acting in the name of. Many times faith has been corrupted in many wrong ways by people claims to act in it’s name.

We as a country are shaken by the events today but we must not be turned away from the ideals that make people want to come and live in this nation. If we allow ourselves to remain fearful then we allow these terrorists to win.

A final thought, I hope the guards at the war memorial can be put back to their post as soon as possible. It will send an additional message that Canadians will not be scared.

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_terrorism#Etymology

 

Posted in Life, News, Rants Tagged with: ,

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