My Trip To Casse-Tête!

Woody Allen said that 80% of success in life is just showing up. I put that theorem to the test two weeks ago, setting off on an epic, six-day, 2000-kilometre Voyage of Discovery up into the interior of BC and back again as … Read more…

I love The Post at 750!

As it’s important to kick off the New Year right, I thought I’d post about, well, The Post. The Post at 750 that is, nestled in with the beautifully revamped CBC Vancouver studios. It’s a new experiment in collaborative cultural synergy … Read more…

A Golden Age of New Music in BC?

The richness of new music offerings in Vancouver is staggering and the quality of performance outstanding! In nine concerts over the past two weeks, I’ve been amazed at the variety of organizations and ensembles and genres and approaches, and the … Read more…

Hello Friends …

A Letter of Introduction to my new Canadian Music Centre family: I grew up in what was then a very rural area. We had a lot of fun running wild in the woods, but culturally it was a desert. Thankfully … Read more…

New Director of BC for Canadian Music Centre

October 27, 2015, Toronto, ON – Canadian Music Centre / Centre de musique canadienne (CMC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Sean Bickerton as Director – B.C. Region. Sean Bickerton has spent his entire life dedicated to the performing … Read more…

Cuts To Vancouver School Board’s Excellent Music Program?

CBC News reports that the Vancouver School Board is cutting elementary school music programs this fall, axing the band program for Grade Five students and eliminating the string program for Grade Four students. I know governments at all levels are struggling to … Read more…

It Takes A (Global) Village!

Visiting New York is like a shot of adrenalin! I spent half my adult life in that city. Half of that was spent working at Columbia Artists when it was at its peak, learning the business of managing artists and … Read more…

Is There A Violin In The House?

Norwegian violinist Vilde Frang and pianist Michail Lifits delivered an impassioned, stunningly beautiful recital of Mendelssohn, Fauré, Mozart and Prokofiev at the Vancouver Playhouse on Sunday afternoon for the Vancouver Recital Society Audiences were mesmerized by the lyric Mendelssohn that … Read more…

A Life-Long Love Affair

It was the summer of 1985. I was their very first Intern, sitting around a kitchen table with Leila, Leon and Leyla (as in Leila and Leon Getz and Leyla Sacks), the trio that launched the Vancouver Recital Society (VRS), … Read more…

Can You Spare A Life Saver?

lifesaversLike the rainbow of flavors offered up in a single roll of Life Savers, kids are not all the same.

Some kids are not born athletes. They’re too small for sports, or too large, or just don’t fit in. Others have obstacles thrown in their way by adults who prey on the weak, shattering youthful confidence. For these children, the age-old ritual of choosing up teams itself can be humiliating for those always picked last.

But all kids want to be part of something bigger than themselves, to belong. All kids want to make a contribution, to believe they are good at something, to feel good about themselves, to not feel useless.

And every single child is inherently creative – it’s what makes us human, the divine spark that elevates and animates us.

If you will imagine for a second that a school is like a passenger liner proudly carrying its precious cargo into the future, then the children that can’t play competitive sports, the kids that don’t fit in, the kids that are bullied and ostracized, those wrestling with existential challenges, are like a passenger that has fallen overboard, drifting silently away, ever further into the night.

1179935_lifesaversFor the children falling further and further behind, left to navigate stormy seas on their own, the arts can act like life preservers, a path to something better, a way back to the light, and, to stretch this metaphor further, can serve as a lifeline back to the mother ship heading off oblivious without them into the future.

Read more…