I made a post last night, but something went wrong, so I’ll recap!
With a possible suspension looming over the venerable & treasured VCM–Camosun partnership, music students took action. It was a beautiful day for an outdoor concert, so we brought what we do best to the street!
Yesterday afternoon, we assembled. We brought instruments, voices, & determination. We stood together & sang our truth right out in the street. We were not about to let our program be quietly suspended.
We had classical & jazz students stationed all around the Alix Goolden Hall making music, holding signs, talking to news crews & to the public. We got the word out to the City of Victoria that our Music programs are unique & that people come from far & wide to be here. For many of us, there are simply no other options to begin our education constructively. The small size of the program makes it unique & allows us to contribute our service to the community.
Many of the same people frequent our neighbourhood on a daily basis. Most days, a large portion of those people don’t interact with us as we come & go. Yesterday, we were seeing more smiles from people passing by the Pandora/Quadra area than we ever do on an average day. People were watching, dancing, & singing along with us. There was even an extra spring in the step of the people who couldn’t stop to listen. This serves to prove everything we stand for.
It is not our intention to blame Camosun College for this situation. They have a hard decision to make as they face budget cuts imposed by The Ministry of Advanced Education. We are simply hoping to preserve the 40 year relationship that the VCM has had with the college, so that future musicians may have the same access to the wonderful learning environment that we have today.
I am grateful to be part of a community of students who are so willing to band together & stand up for what we need. I’m thankful to live in a city where we have the support of the public & the news outlets. While it is encouraging to know that the community is backing us, we understand that this is not over. Stay tuned!
photo credit goes to Fuchsia Shier.