Below is the complete text of frank Artistic Producer Chris Gatchalian’s presentation to the Standing Committee on City Finances and Services in City Hall, December 17, 2014:
My name is Chris Gatchalian and I’m the Artistic Producer of the frank theatre company, Vancouver’s professional LGBTTQ theatre company.
I’m very pleased to be here today to speak in strong support of the recommendations brought forward by the General Manager of Community Services regarding the allocation of the remaining funds of the 2014 Cultural Grants budget.
If these recommendations are approved by City Council, 32 arts organizations will be brought into the new Annual Assistance stream, including the frank theatre company.
I know that this an important and exciting moment for all 32 of our organizations, but speaking just on behalf of the frank theatre company, I can say that this is a pivotal moment in our 18-year history as an arts entity.
When people witness and are enthralled, enlightened, entertained, confronted and/or transformed by an art exhibit, a recital, a dance work, a film festival, a writers’ festival or a play, we often forget that these events don’t emerge from a vacuum; that it takes an organization, an infrastructure, to make these artistic experiences happen.
It takes a staff, an office, equipment, and professional and formalized processes to bring these artistic experiences to the community.
The approach that the City is now taking to arts funding, which is to focus on the organization and what the organization needs at its specific stage in its life cycle, is progressive, flexible, truthful and visionary. It respects and takes into account the specific needs of all organizations, from start-ups which undertake projects on a more ad-hoc basis, to growing and mature organizations which produce a regular program of work.
As a growing organization, the grant that has been recommended for the frank could not have come at a more opportune time. From a paid staff of one prior to June of this year, the company will be welcoming a third staff member come January, and demand for our work is strong and growing locally and nationally. A grant from the City at this critical juncture in our history is necessary to help keep pace with this increased capacity and demand.
I would like to thank the City for being on the national vanguard in adopting this new approach to arts funding. This further solidifies the Vancouver arts community’s standing as the best supported in the country, and I am proud to be working and living in this ecology. Thank you.