In yet another case for amalgamation, Victoria City Council is trying to boost the coffers of the McPherson Playhouse by asking Saanich and Oak Bay residents to pony up some cash to support it.
Each year, the Royal Theatre receives $480,000 in grant money from Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria, while the McPherson Playhouse receives a $400,000 grant from Victoria alone.
The Playhouse, along with the Royal Theatre, is owned by the city and managed by the CRD and the Royal & McPherson Theatres Society.
While attendance is lower than it should be, and the McPherson dark, more often than not, it’s important to note the theatre also provided some 87 per cent of its days to non profit groups such as Chor Leoni Men’s Choir, BC Cadet Honour Band, Shriners Variety Show, Victoria Academy of Ballet, Centrepointe Ballet School and Community Living Victoria, among many others.
According to Byron Smith, president and board chairman of the Royal & McPherson Theatres Society, a recent consultant’s report referred to the society as one of the best-run theatre operations in North America.
The last thing the community needs is to see the McPherson suffer from lack of funding. While the society board is diligently working to address the issues of equitable regional funding, and continuing to support non-profit arts organizations, a push must also come from the public to support the theatre and to demand more funding for the arts from all levels of government.
A city, or region in this case, is only as healthy as its social and cultural life and the McPherson is an integral part of the equation.
While we’re talking about City Hall, the folks there have come up with a new way to make the place more accessible to the public. New guidelines have been drafted to allow rental of a variety of spaces in the building – including council chambers. Whether it’s a wedding, non-profit event, workshop or arts and culture event the doors are open, at least for the next six months as the pilot project runs.
Kudos to Ladysmith native Pamela Anderson. At 48, the former Baywatch and VIP star turned animal and environmental rights activist, was chosen to grace the cover of the final issue of Playboy Magazine to contain nude photographs.
Anderson, who first appeared in the magazine at age 22, has been on the cover 14 times and featured inside 15 times, refused to kiss and tell with interviewer James Franco when he asked her about her heydays at the Playboy Mansion.
“You know, when people kiss and tell, they’re usually lying,” she quipped.
While being Playboy-worthy at nearly 50 is an outstanding accomplishment, check out Anderson’s phenomenal contributions to non-profit and activist organizations around the world at pamelaandersonfoundation.org.
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