I would like to commend school board chair Silas White and School District No. 46 trustees for loudly proclaiming that the future of education is not for sale with regards to the proposed cultural centre on land that the school board owns (Coast Reporter, May 25).
Somehow a small group of individuals with access to council still holds on to this dream of "experiencing the arts in one place," despite recent highly successful events such as the Sechelt Arts Festival, Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, Rainforest Circus and the Roberts Creek Arts Festival. None of these high caliber festivals needed a conventional dressing room, or theatre seating and are successful in part because they are not the traditional model. Expanding people's perceptions with regards to what constitutes "art" has been an age old discussion, and many Sunshine Coast artists are contributing to that conversation through their work. The fact remains that there are those working hard to attract and retain young families to the Coast, and when this proposal was first pitched to the previous council (with little heads up to the artistic community) I was there and was surprised to learn that not only was this Cultural Task Force eying up the property where Sechelt elementary was recently forced to close, it wasn't even in the proposed budget. I guess those six or seven million dollars would just show up? The demographic of the Coast was described only as 40 and over, and what those numbers would look like in 20 years. The Cultural Task Force will tell you that if we build it they will come, and magically it will be funded and used to capacity. With the lack of funding that the arts currently receives across all levels of government, is this the best way to support our artists and interests of the cultural community and public at large?