To the editor:
Back in the time of totalitarian regimes—that’s how I felt at last week’s townhall meeting about the future of the Kelowna Ballet Society, the nonprofit group that operates Ballet Kelowna.
However, no questions about the current state of affairs of Ballet Kelowna were allowed. Imagine, they call a meeting and after they get the people in, they don’t allow any questions about themselves.
It was like being somewhere in North Korea: Yes, comrade, you can ask questions, but not about our illustrious leaders.
When someone tried to ask the artistic director David La Hay about his “imminent” retirement—which is actually not all that “imminent” as what came to light later but is still being trumpeted as one of reasons for folding Ballet Kelowna—the moderator threatened the man who tried to ask this question with switching off his microphone if he went on about that.
Only later on, when a young enthusiastic apprentice dancer called for a new Ballet Kelowna fund to help finance the company, it was possible, without using the microphone, to sneak in the fact that there is about $95,000 sitting in one of the society’s funds. What do they intend to do with that money, give it to consultants who would advise them how to fold?
No one even dared to think about asking why they called off their annual fundraiser Pirouette.
Those revenues and the $95,000, if it is still there, would help Ballet Kelowna to go on.
It was sad to watch some people pouring their hearts out, but I wondered what they would say if they were allowed to know the facts.
The president of the board, Jamie Maw, said in the Capital News that the board was 94 per cent there on funding but opted to fold the company anyway.
What board would shut a door that is 94 per cent open? And as for the board, they sat in the back of the room silent during the public meeting, quiet as a school of fish.
Jiri Strom, Kelowna