On Saturday, Aug. 10, Joy Cotter raised some good points in discussing the need for a performing arts centre In Prince George. It certainly is time we had a cultural focal point in this city, or maybe two.
Firstly, there has long been a need for a properly designed concert hall, which would be perfect for our own performing groups, but also first rate visiting companies. A spurious argument against a concert hall has been the "elitist" nature of the music performed. In fact here we are in a situation where only the elite can afford to travel to concerts, operas, etc. in other centres. If we had a beautiful performing arts centre, our own population, hundreds of musicians, music students, and their families, and people from the north would be able to come to first class performances without having to save all their pennies.
Secondly, there is the question of what to do about the soon to be demolished Studio 2880 buildings, which house important craft and music studios, administrative offices and an excellent shop selling unique and beautiful things made by our talented and hardworking artisans. The staff in the administrative offices have been fortunate until now that they are able to work in rooms far from any noise from the music studios. Clearly a single recycled bank building will not be adequate to contain all this creativity.
We certainly need a purpose-built concert hall, but I don't feel it would be at all feasible to unite music and crafts in one building. It would be interesting to see what other people come up with in trying to fill this massive gap in our town.