Our celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of the Canadian Music Centre in British Columbia this November 2 are taking three forms — musical, social, and historical. We have commissioned a new, 40-second fanfare for trumpet; that fanfare will be premiered at a party, our Gala Open House, on Friday, Nov 10, from 5 – 7pm at our Vancouver Creative Hub; and we have invited everyone who has previously served as BC Director, along with others who have played key roles in the history of the organization, to reflect on events during their tenure. For those related articles, by Christine Purvis, Colin Miles, Bob Baker, Heather Pawsey, and Kathryn Cernauskas, please just click their names.

BC Director Sean Bickerton presenting composer Owen Underhill with Barbara Pentland Lifetime Achievement Award

I first started work as BC Director of the Canadian Music Centre two years ago, almost to the day. One of the best things about that appointment for me was meeting and re-connecting with the close-knit family of BC composers, many of whom I knew from University days; as well as the musicians and enlightened individuals around them that care so deeply about Canadian music and the Canadian Music Centre itself.

Arts leaders are merely stewards, after all, of the already-existing relationships and concomitant sense of community and commitment that sustain the organizations they/we are privileged to help run.

Arts leaders also stand on the shoulders of those that came before. I’m very proud of the renovation and reimagining of our Vancouver Creative Hub over the past two years. But there wouldn’t have been a hub to renovate if Christine Purvis hadn’t helped get that first Vancouver centre established forty years ago. Or if Colin Miles hadn’t seized the opportunity to move CMC BC downtown to this space nearly twenty years ago.

I truly love our new Murray Adaskin Salon — it’s a resounding success. But it was Bob Baker who first had the idea of using our downstairs storefront for performances, which is what gave us the idea of enclosing the space and making it into a permanent new theatre.

And arts leaders don’t work in isolation. We work, in my case, with a very talented and dedicated team, as Heather Pawsey so beautifully acknowledged in her letter.

I’m very proud of the new Murray Adaskin Concert Series. To date this has included programs of music written by BC Legacy Composers Murray Adaskin, Barbara Pentland, Jean Coulthard, Elliott Weisgarber, and Sylvia Rickard, as well as a concert in Victoria to celebrate the 85th birthday of Rudolf Komorous. So far this year we have held concerts to celebrate the music of Lloyd Burritt and Jean Etheridge.

But that series wouldn’t be as good without Stefan Hintersteininger‘s deeply-rooted knowledge of the repertoire we are exploring, or without his connections to the very best musicians and singers in the city. Or without Dave McLaughlin, our Operations Manager, working quietly behind the scenes to ensure that everything runs like clockwork and that all of the millions of details that create a successful concert are taken care of ahead of time.

It’s only thanks to William Orr, and his terrific programming colleague Greg Soone, that the entire history of Canadian music in BC has been captured and is now available online for everyone to access through the brilliant Digital Archive they have created. It was also to Bill that I turned to help organize this retrospective of the BC Directors, and as with everything else he does, he’s done it perfectly.

I’m also very proud of our Barbara Pentland Awards program — it’s wonderful to be in a position to recognize and honour all of the extraordinarily talented people and organizations that are doing such great things for Canadian music across this huge province. But the idea originated with George Laverock, the Chair of the CMC BC Regional Advisory Council. I turn regularly to the members of the Advisory Council for advice and counsel, collectively and individually. The work our team does rests on their support and knowledge and dedication to the CMC.

I’m also proud of this website. But it was only because of the generosity of my husband, Tom Hudock, and his company KultureShock.Net, that it exists at all, or is as beautiful as it is. (Ditto our concert programmes and marketing graphics!)

The documentary films we’ve produced are another outstanding achievement and something we’re all proud of. But it was Bob Baker that originally applied for one of the grants that made those films possible, and they only turned out so well because of the extraordinary talent of film-maker John Bolton, and the amazing musicians he brought in to perform the music of those composers.

I’m delighted that we’ve been able to open our new Creative Hub in Victoria. But it is Christopher Reiche-Boucher (and now Kimberly Manerikar, too) who has been so successful in engaging the amazingly dynamic new music scene there. And we’re all thrilled at CMC BC that we have been able to secure funding to reinstate the Composer In The Classroom Program over the next two years that was originally launched by Bob Baker.

But of everything this large and interconnected team has accomplished over the past two years, I’m most proud of the fact that we are capturing the history of the Canadian Music Centre in BC before it’s lost, and celebrating what all of these wonderfully talented people have accomplished over the past forty years working together.

And that includes above all the composers we exist to champion who are doing such exemplary, creative, innovative, groundbreaking, and profoundly moving work!

Thank you to everyone that’s come before. And here’s to the next forty successful years of the Canadian Music Centre in BC!