From the Editorby Wah Keung Chan
/ September 1, 2015
Welcome back! It’s been a busy summer at La Scena Musicale, preparing for the start of our 20th season of promoting music and the arts. We began with the Great Art Song Challenge, a survey of the greatest art songs of all time. We received great responses from such notable musicians and personalities as La Presse critic Claude Gingras and Canadian sopranos Adrianne Pieczonka and Chantal Lambert. The deadline to submit your vote is September 30 at www.nextgreatartsong.com. Throughout 2015-2016, we plan to publish a series of articles on the Art Song (see the first one by Michèle Duguay), counting down the top 10 songs; all this will culminate in our 20th anniversary Gala – The Next Great Art Song contest in fall 2016, when you get to vote for the top new Art Song.
Promoting music and the arts is at the heart of our organization’s mission, and with this issue we are pleased bring back our La SCENA arts news magazine, with Lucie Renaud as section editor. From 2007 to 2011, La SCENA was published 12 times and featured interviews/profiles of renowned artists and personalities such as Denys Arcand, Robert Lepage, Daniele Finzi Pasca, René Richard Cyr, Michel Tremblay, Marie Chouinard, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, David Altmejd, M. M. Ciciovan, Sylvain Guy, Simon Brault, Michaëlle Jean, Jean-Daniel Lafond, and Placido Domingo. As you can see, this issue is paired with La Scena Musicale’s September 2015 edition in a combo publication as part of our special Fall Arts Preview Guide/La Rentrée Culturelle, with two covers, one with a musical subject (it’s composer John Rea’s year at the SMCQ) and the other an artistic subject (the Théâtre de Quat’Sous celebrates their 60th year). In addition to our extensive music calendar, you will find a detailed arts calendar, making the issue the most comprehensive guide to arts consumption.
Our 20th season received disappointing news before it even started: On June 23, Quebec’s Minister of Culture Hélène David announced the cut of $2.5 million from the budget of the CALQ (Quebec Arts Council). At the time, David assured the arts community that the cuts were administrative and would not affect services to artists, so we were not so concerned – LSM had never received operating grants directly from CALQ. In July, we discovered that the Conseil québécois de la musique (CQM) was cut $40,000 by the CALQ, and in turn, they were suspending their 17-year-old partnership agreement with La Scena Musicale to produce the Pullout calendar after the November issue, meaning a $5100 reduction to our 2015-16 budget and $7300 per year going forward (this amount had already been reduced from $14,600 two years ago).
Consequently, we must rely more on fundraising activities. Through our partners, we have acquired tickets to select concerts (opera, musicals, and world music), which we are selling to raise funds (LSM subscribers get a 15% discount). Find out the detailed list by signing up to our e-newsletter at enews(at)lascena.org.
Incidentally, thanks to Young Canada Works and Canada Summer Jobs, our summer interns, Michèle Duguay and Kiersten van Vliet have been actively updating LSM’s website, e-newsletter, newswire, blog, Facebook, and Twitter. We plan to continue this activity as well as a new weekly column by co-editor Caroline Rodgers leading up to the launch of our new website later this year. Visit www.scena.org to stay tuned.
Have a great musical and artistic season!