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MY Place enters into new partnership with arts council



Part of restructuring plan to increase revenues

New partnerships are spearheading Maurice Young Millennium Place’s quest for a vibrant place in the community and financial security.

Recently the Whistler Arts Council and MY Place entered into a partnership to streamline and improve the Performance Series and to work with other local groups to improve access to the facility.

And Mountain FM radio has also rented space for office use and recording of advertising spots.

There will also be a new and innovative guest speaker series, breakfast meetings aimed at health education, health activities like yoga, and more.

"We are taking more risks during the day and I think it is working for us, and then in the evening, we are taking more risks to fill in dates too," said Rob Schwartz, general manager at MY Place.

The staff is following a strategy known affectionately as the B-HAG, or Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

"We want to be self-sustaining," said Schwartz referring to one of the goals of the B-HAG.

"And we want to show the community that we can do this and I believe it is possible.

"It will take time and creativity and volunteer work but it is possible."

The hope is that the profile of the facility will continue to grow and more and more people will come to enjoy the shows and the building.

"People aren't using (Millennium Place) to its greatest potential so we are coming up with partnerships to try and make that happen," said Schwartz.

And with utility bills alone running to $5,000 a month the facility also needs to restructure some of its agreements to make sure MY Place is earning enough to keep the doors open, but not so much that the price alienates users.

Schwartz expects there to be a deficit of about $180,000 this year.

"That’s what was predicted," he said.

And he expects the facility will always need about $100,000 a year to cover an on-going deficit, which he expects will come through fund raising. Until recently groups would approach MY Place and suggest a show. If it were a show the venue wanted to go ahead with the staff at Millennium Place would swing into high gear and get things organized.

At the end profits were split 50/50.

In reality the profits were small at best. However, many of the local groups would do well on the fundraising efforts run in addition to the performance.

But that’s money MY Place had no access too.