I am writing you as we begin the second week of social distancing required by COVID-19, as well as both concomitantly and rather surprisingly the first week of Spring.

I thought it would be helpful to share with you where we are in terms of the Canadian Music Centre’s operations in B.C., while addressing our plans at least for the immediate future.

Naturally, our first concern has been the safety of our team and our unique family of composers, patrons, performers, donors, and partners in the new music community of B.C.

Last Monday, immediately following the Prime Minister’s address to the nation, the Canadian Music Centre closed its offices, libraries, and performance facilities across the country, asking employees to work from home.

We have delayed moving forward with our BC Reconciliation Project until conditions make it safe for us to convene in larger numbers again.

We are also considering ways to hold our Annual Meeting safely, remotely, with voting by email, and will be in touch as those plans are clarified.

In addition, the CMC is concerned about the economic impact of the pandemic on our composers and the many unsalaried musicians who bring their music to life. We have been encouraging the City of Vancouver, the Province of BC and a newly formed provincial task force to provide immediate assistance in particular to unsalaried musicians, and to large presenting organizations severely impacted by the pandemic, in particular.

In the meantime, to help provide some minimal work for musicians while enriching the lives of patrons confined to their homes, we have launched a new online concert series — Unaccompanied. In this way we hope to keep bringing our composers’ music to life even as we are closed to the public.

We are also working to develop new online educational programs to engage the minds of the many young people now confined to home for long hours, eager for knowledge and distraction.

And throughout all of this, we are ensuring the continuity and sustainability of CMC BC. Despite current disruptions to our operations, we are in a positive financial position and will remain so. Our costs last year were greatly reduced and this year our costs will be lower still, ensuring CMC BC is ready and able to begin producing concerts, provide needed services, and offer new educational programs as soon as COVID-19 is under control and social distancing measures no longer necessary.

And every week you can look forward to a vibrant Centrepulse Enews full of rich content, keeping you connected to the creativity, curiousity, and conviviality of our composers and creators and those that bring their music to life!

We are now called to express our solidarity by remaining apart. To show our love for each other through distancing. But through that unity of purpose and the new camaraderie of shared isolation, we can not only survive, but help build together a more caring and creative future.

Do you have some new project you’re working on? A new video performance? A new score to share? Let us know by emailing bcregion@cmccanada.org

Thank you for your continued support of our work at the Canadian Music Centre. And thank you for the love of music that we all share.

Sean Bickerton, BC Director, and Jordan Nobles, B.C. Librarian
Canadian Music Centre