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Enjoy the Silence?

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With the recent federal budget announced, the Harper Conservative Government unveiled all sorts of nasty surprises. They have been especially harsh to the arts community and nowhere has this cruelty been felt more than at the Canadian cultural institution, the CBC. It was a real hack job and the cuts have been merciless. No part of Canada has been spared, though it is safe to say that our province has really got some of the worst of it. The biggest blow has been the dismantling of CBC-NL’s mobile recording unit, used to record live events and Studio F, a recording studio facility. Along with it, local musical shows such as Musicraft and The Performance Hour could also be a thing of the past. This is a massive loss for our collective culture in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The arts community is certainly reeling, as a result however, there is now an open dialogue going about what can be done to fill the void. A group of concerned local musicians started a Facebook page devoted to it called “Sad Times for Newfoundland and Labrador Music”and it’s since been filling up with commentary, opinions, and many shows of support. As with many other things on the chopping block in this province, it is clear that this is well worth fighting for. Hopefully a compromise, or better yet, a solution will be realized. It is honestly sad to see how unimportant culture is to the Harper Government. Culture and music especially so, tell our stories, it is our own narrative and it should be valued and respected.

In the meantime, our other local media should consider seriously picking up where the cuts to CBC leave off, by recording and featuring much more of our local music. If NTV and its affiliates, Steele Communications, and other public media like CHMR and VOWR can pitch in in any amount and record local talent live, or feature more of their recordings, all will not be lost. It’s a dark time for the arts in this entire country, but it we’re up to the challenge creatively, we’re not at all defeated.

By: Vanessa Wade


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