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LETTER: Some clarifying points on RougeMusic and the Rouge Gallery

Dear editor,

As director of the RougeMusic concert series and as a professional musician, I feel passionate about ensuring that there is a thriving arts community in Rossland.

Currently I am raising funds and managing large budgets for the Health Arts Society’s Kootenay wide concert series, as well as other concert series in the region, all of which are doing well financially. After reading last week’s article regarding the closure of the Rouge Gallery, I would like to clarify a few statements that could have mislead your readers and in doing so, bring clarity to funding issues related to the RougeMusic series. .

With reference to the following quotes from your article:

 “As another way to earn revenue the Rouge Concert Series began”,

The Rougemusic concert series was created in September 2010, as a separate entity with its own budget, under the umbrella organization called “Rouge Centre for the Arts” which included the Rouge Gallery and the Rouge Framing shop. The music series was never intended to be a source of revenue for the Gallery. Funding sources for the series came primarily from corporate sponsorship and government grants with ticket sales accounting for only a small portion of the revenue. Funding was in place to more than cover costs for the series with a small surplus in the event of lower ticket sales. The budget included a fee for rental of the space at the Rouge Gallery.

“musicians were paid $4000, only half of which was covered by a grant”

At no time did the concert series pay performers a fee of $4000. The most expensive performance for the series was $2000. Such fees reflect industry standard professional performance fees. The series was created to promote the music of small ensembles such as solo artists, duos and trios while keeping ticket prices affordable for a local audiences.

A grant from the B.C. Arts Council Touring program was in place in May to cover 50% of the fees for the final concert, which had performance fees of $2000. In addition, $1500 was available for use from a Kootenay Savings.

It has been a great pleasure to share the music making with this community and I am very thankful for the support from concert series audiences and local funders.

Visiting musicians frequently commented on how fantastic it was to perform in a beautiful historic space with such rich, warm acoustics.

Fletcher Quince has been a true visionary in his efforts to bring life back to the Old Bank of Montreal building. In an effort to keep the music going, Fletcher had once again shown his great support of the arts by allowing the use of his space for another concert on October 1st featuring the Kootenay’s own, La Cafamore String Quartet.

Nicola Everton