Re: Concerts in the square and champagne in our bathwater.
When the first Concerts in the Square was introduced, I was appalled at the $100,000 price tag that was attached.
I was told by Larry Orr, the City of North Vancouver's manager of lands and business services, that it was a one-time cost, because the producers did not have time to get funds from sponsors.
I was therefore surprised to see the city had handed out another $100,000 to the same company, Donnelly & Associates, this time around.
In correspondence dated July 10, it was confirmed Donnelly had only managed to raise $10,000 in cash, leaving taxpayers to shell out $90,000.
Why did this happen? Why didn't the city limit its contribution to $25,000, which is what it gave to the Lower Lonsdale Business Association for the very successful Party at the Pier?
Why is there such extravagance at the pier at all, when there is already entertainment taking place at Lonsdale Quay and in Waterfront Park? In fact, the whole North Shore has events from the Harmony Arts Festival in West Vancouver to the concerts in various parts of the District of North Vancouver.
Now they say they want to move Presentation House Theatre down to the waterfront.
If PHT cannot succeed in a neighbourhood with at least 2,000 people within walking distance why would it survive at the new location? Sadly, live theatre is a dying art - look at the Vancouver Playhouse. There are many volunteer theatre groups that could fill the gap.
When it comes to the "arts," the city seems to have a bottomless wallet.
It is time its finances were managed in the same way most of us have to manage our own personal budgets: with prudence and responsibility.
Sue Lakes Cook North Vancouver