Opinion by Daniel Gaisin
There are many ways to enjoy a sunny summer Saturday in Toronto, especially with such a multi-cultural city and the start of the Rio Olympics. Yesterday WAS Saturday; the sky WAS blue with just a few cumulus clouds; and we WITH a delightful soft-spoken lady named Ann SUMMERS… what could be perfecter (sic). The woman is the founder/creator/manager of IRCPA; the International Resource Centre for Performing Arts and it’s declared credo succinctly sets out its mandate –
“The International Resource Centre for Performing Artists is a dedicated service organization for Musical Artists.
It was incorporated in 1985 to support freelance performers in the music field to make the transition from student to professional and to assist them to reach their goals at various stages in their careers. The IRCPA convenes and connects individual performing artists with one another, with artistic coaches and performers, and with current leaders in the industry for knowledge exchange, coaching and employment opportunities.”.
To dedicate oneself in order to support and promulgate the next generation of young artists is about as worthwhile a cultural endeavor as anything our ARTS REVIEW tries and hopes to accomplish. We are committed advocates of Hamilton’s Buchanan Park P.S.’s annual school opera; Brott’s unique N.A.O. opportunity for young music graduates, and we also attempt to attend/critique every young community theatre enterprise within travel area. The IRCPA is dedicated to more practical support with scholarships, mentoring and opportunities for professional ‘encounters’ (Sondra Radvanovsky, Oct. 12th) with the most renowned of the genre.
The arts in general are relegated to the hind teat by Government; major media, and financial institutions unless it offers a ‘sound bite’ or “PR” advantage. To exacerbate this situation, many of the cultural organizations are governed by volunteers, well-meaning but off-times end up shooting themselves and their associations in the foot. Trying to support and/or advance anything cultural is a Herculean task reminiscent of Sisyphus and his rock. Just as we worry about the environment from the view of future generations; hope for peace so our offspring can enjoy life without fear; and worry about life sustainability; so we must also consider the aesthetic future; as a wise lady once quoted to the Burlington City Council which was considering a performing arts venue: – “It is by the interest and support of culture that a community is truly defined” … a principle to live by.
It costs four hundred dollars to underwrite a IRCPA scholarship; that’s ninety cents a day, dear readers. The website is ircpa.net. Let’s all get with the program.