La Scena Musicale

Monday, 10 March 2008

Montreal to Cancel Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur Programming, Calls for Proposals


Claiming the need to slash its budget, the City of Montreal has decided to cancel the music programming for the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur once its current season concludes this summer. The Montreal music community was informed of the decision this afternoon through an email requesting proposals to keep the venue and its Fazoli piano and harpsichord available to the musical community. La Scena Musicale learned of this news only through an email from the Conseil québecois de la musique calling on its members for comment; although La Scena Musicale is an integral part of the Montreal musical community, we did not receive the email directly. A search of the City of Montreal's announcements, shows that the decision to cancel the venue's programming, couched in a press release calling for proposals, was never officially announced.
Cette annonce est liée à la décision de la Ville de mettre fin à sa programmation de concerts à la Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, à compter de l'été 2008.

"Compte tenu d'une situation budgétaire extrêmement serrée, toutes les activités municipales sont scrutées de très près : la décision concernant la programmation musicale à la Chapelle a été prise dans ce contexte", a déclaré Madame Catherine Sévigny, conseillère municipale associée à la culture et au centre-ville. "Toutefois, il est clair que la Chapelle est un lieu unique et remarquable, qui doit demeurer à la disposition de la communauté musicale montréalaise, d'où notre intérêt à discuter des avenues qui peuvent assurer l'utilisation de cette salle de musique".

This claim of "extremely tight budget" comes ironically on the same day that Montreal Mayor Tremblay revealed that the Montreal Symphony Orchestra's new endowement fund will be $60 Million as reported by Arthur Kaptainis in this morning's Montreal Gazette. One wonders how much the City will contribute towards the $60M.
Earlier this year, the City also announced $1M to support the MSO's international marketing. One also wonders whether the $250,000 saved on the Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur was diverted to the orchestra.

Montreal's Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur was opened in 1988 and has served as a venue for free classical music concerts open to all citizens, young and old, rich or poor, thanks to the tireless efforts of the venue's director Guy Soucie. When reached this afternoon, Soucie expressed sadness at the program's closing. He revealed that the program's $250,000 budget goes towards paying the venue's staff as well as cachets for artists. As a City employee, Soucie will be reassigned next year in the city's bureaucracy. However, the program's closing is a bitter way to celebrate the renovated venue's 20th anniversary.

According to the City's email, the deadline for proposals is April 28 in order for the City to decide the venue's ultimate fate
by May.

Update:
>
Réponse à l'annulation à la Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur / Reactions to Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur Cancellation
> Facebook group : Sauvons la programmation de la Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur!

Spotlight: Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur
La Scena Musicale has created a spotlight page to follow this developing story.

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