ONe of the enduring stereotypes about smaller commuities is that they ar cultural wastelands. After all, the logic goes, what do you get for perforers? HOw can it be economically viable to have a cultural scene with such small audiences?
Guess what! It happens. HEre we have something called the AES, a series of concerts each year funded by government money, business sponsors and patrons, and individual tickets. 6 shows a year for incredible prices. For the two of us it was about $175--and that included a $25 donation (which gives us "patron" status). Of the shows that come through, it would cost that much to go to 2 of them in a larger centre--we know, we went to the box office of the closest auditorium (TBCA) and checked prices for shows that were going to be in both places. WE have had names like Prairie Oyster, the Barra MacNeils, Michelle Wright, Don Harron, a symphony orchestra. Each year a touring theatre company brings in a play (this year it is Driving Miss Daisy). I never expected this when I was being settled here. IT was one of those great gifts that life offers.
Thanks AES for enriching the life of this community. We are better for having you here. THanks to the provincial Arts Council for supporting these small town entertainment series (there are several of them in the area communities), thanks for remembering that we need the "finer aspects" of life as much as those in the major centres.