When I was, like everybody, given little notice that the Whistler musical, "SNOW" was showing at Millennium Place, I actually cried. It could have been the PMS, but it upset me beyond belief. Why?
Because this Whistler show, funded by "Whistler - Cultural Capital of Canada" grant money, used "professional" Vancouver actors. This money was for Whistler's Cultural development - not Vancouver's.
I couldn't go see what over $70,000 gets these days as I was working that night trying to make a living, you know, as a local performer.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm very happy that the local writers got a portion of the money and benefited from this "workshop." I'm just trying to figure out the rest.
Some things you may be interested to know.
Vancouver writers were hired to write a show about Whistler first. So it would appear lucky that any Whistlerites got the gig at all! How much did that cost? Reportedly the first show was deemed so bad by Whistler previewers that Whistler writers were hired to start again from scratch.
The casting call was in Vancouver only.
The pros only got the script last week, had catered rehearsals and made more than the writers did. So the show was considered a "read through" not an actual show.
The show was a one night deal. Yup, that's all, folks. A one-night $70,000 show. I hope it was good. Truly.
If this production were to play again with the pros, the price of a ticket at Millennium Place would simply be too expensive to be viable. So why even fund a production that has little hope of covering its costs if it were to continue?
I've questioned a few decisions over the years about where the arts money goes around here, but this one is just plain insulting to all the talented actors in Whistler who have been doing this stuff for free, in their "spare" time for years. I think local performers with actual money thrown at them could have pulled off a decent show.
In the terms of wasted funds this is Whistler's very own Fast Ferry debacle. It makes me want to move, frankly.
Maybe to Vancouver...
We need a free press
With so much going on in this town, it is not always possible to attend every event scheduled. Therefore many rely on our two newspapers to catch up on what happened and to fill in the gaps.