5 minute challenge… WEEK THREE!!

Are we gaining momentum?  Are you feeling the looming election?  Last week’s challenge was to call up your MP or MLA and invite him or her to attend an upcoming show, or even to speak at it.  The idea is to promote dialogue between political figures and our audiences in order to connect politicians with constituents who really care about theatre.  To bring representatives in to see what we do and the people – the voters – who benefit from it.  It makes me hopeful if both sides can put a face to this movement.

The first question everyone came to in this challenge was: how do I decide which MLA/MP to invite? Do I invite the person from where I live?  Where my company’s office is?  Where the show is taking place?  I say invite them all, but I decided to start with option three and invited representatives from the area where my event was taking place: Solo Collective’s Solo Flights Showcase at the Playhouse Production Centre.  I called the offices, thinking that might get more of a response than an e-vite, but was then asked to follow up with an email.  I haven’t heard back from MP Hedy Fry yet, but MLA Mary McNeil’s office tried really hard to make it work in conjunction with another event, sending several emails back and forth before they eventually had to pass, “Thanks again for the invitation, I am truly sorry that she is unable to attend.

Dave Deveau invited his reps to his upcoming show, Zee Zee Theatre’s My Funny Valentine, and reports: “Hedy Fry has confirmed and will be speaking.”  Excellent!  David C Jones invited some provincial politicians to judge the new OUTtv series Tops and Bottoms – I can’t wait to see that one!  Michael Scholar Jr “invited them via email to come to [Macbeth: nach Shakespeare] opening night or night thereafter.  Just to see the show. Not to speak. So far I’ve gotten auto responders from them, but nothing specific.”  It sounds like the best way to get politicians out is to offer them a chance to address your captive audience.  Understandable I suppose.

Now that the dialogue has begun, on to the continuing story…

CHALLENGE WEEK THREE: Most of you know that a few weeks ago, new Premier Christy Clark replaced a number of Ministers directly affecting arts organizations.  The Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development, the closest thing British Columbia has to a Minister of Culture, appears to be a challenging position to hold.  The previous Minister, Stephanie Cadieux, had expressed “discomfort” with talking about British Columbia’s arts spending on a per capita basis (for the per capita provincial comparisons go here), particularly when BC’s arts spending was shown to be less than a third of the national provincial average!  The new Minister, Ida Chong, did not begin well either.  Her first interview in the Georgia Straight delved into the future of BC Gaming Funding (if you missed it, check it out here), and she had very few answers for us.

This week’s challenge is to call the Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development, Ida Chong, and issue a specific, one-sentence goal that you, as a voter and a resident of British Columbia, would like her office to work toward.  Simply: “Welcome to your new office.  In your new position, I would ask you to target…” and then spell it out for her!  Make it impossible for the minister or her office to misunderstand exactly what the expectations are. You can reach her at 250 387-2283 or via Inquiry BC at 1-800-663-7867.

Then let us know how it went by commenting here below…..

Dive on in – it’ll only take five minutes.  And it might just make a difference!

 

compiled by Rachel Peake

 

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