Monday, March 22, 2004

12,350 and counting...


We just finished putting address labels no invitations for Janice Tayler's show. Are you gonna be getting one? Two? More? If I ever come around and ask you to help, just say no, it is a fate worse than hell. Takes 6 people about 5 hours of pure tedium. Special thanks go out to Graham, Donna, Jason, Janice (of course!) Jeff and Tammy.

Then, to pick up on some old stuff. Last Tuesday, the Marie Chouinard Dance Company (who ARE on the mailing list, every last one of 'em,) wrote an open letter to Line Beauchamp that was published in Le Devoir, pleading the case that Quebecois culture needs to be supported by cash from the government.

Now I tend to view government funding sorta like I view heroin. Once you start, you're gonna have a whale of a time kicking the habit. Somebody is always gonna be lurking in the corners trying to get you some methadone, and when the time comes (have you ever heard of a government increasing the amount of funding for the arts?) you're gonna be in some serious pain.

Then on top of the whining from the dancers, they give some specific examples of Quebecois culture; Film, Music, Theater, and Dance. They somehow forget literature, painting, sculpture, architecture, along with food, craft, and a whole whack of other things that contribute to the Quebecois Cultural oeuvre. If you're gonna whine, at least be inclusive, there ain't no need to piss off some people because they aren't included on the list.

Then to keep piling it on, in about a year, said dance company will be performing at Place des Arts. 3 nights, I would guess they're gonna be in Theatre Maisonneuve (1,458 seats) for a total of 4,374 tickets available. Now, tickets for dance performances at PdA go for anywhere from $25 on up to $80. Lets cut that in half for a nice and easy average - call 'em $52 a pop. Now lets take that figure and multiply it by the number of tickets available. Pesto-Bingo! $229, 635. Not bad for 3 nights worth of work, eh? Now to be fair, there are at least 23 people who work for the Compagnie Marie Chouinard. So we continue with our math, and that comes out to slightly less than $10,000 a person for 3 nights.

Alright, I'm being very simplistic. And there a scads upon scads of things that I am glossing over (rental of the hall, publicity, rehearsal time, travel expenses, to name just a few) but even if that takes 90% of the $10,000 gross, I could be very happy living on $300/day. If the company works only 50 days a year (from a rough scan of what they did in 2003) that works out to $15,000 a year for every last person working for Marie Chouinard. Now the government is supposed to kick in more cash? I'd tell Julie George, Cathy Pruzan, and Uriel Luft to start getting the company about two to three times more work.

If the government is going to kick in cash to support culture, according to me, they should be supporting art that cannot support itself. And if anybody is interested I could come up with a list easier than it would be to fall out of my bed. Can you tell that I'm cranky from slapping 12,350 address labels on invitations?

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