Thursday, January 31, 2013

Letter to the BC Government
Dear BC Government:
I think this plan is wonderful. It will hopefully give many young people an opportunity to grow up and appreciate the arts so that film and every other career in the "arts" will not only be appreciated but will be supported in the future. I think that it's about time that the children got some funding for extracurricular activities that went outside of sports teams. Sports are great fun, but have been very highly focused on in the past, to the exclusion of all else.
I think it's admirable how you have planned to focus on the future of the arts in British Columbia and put so much time and attention toward these children. I think it's wonderful that you plan internships for them so that they can get real job experience and will better be able to break into the industry. Most of all I think it's generous of you to prepare so many for a career in the United States. Will you be contacting LA to make the process smoother for them to become American citizens? That would be truly kind of you as the majority of your plan surrounds them and their education.
The rest of us who are too old for high school or who have been in the industry for years and have no reason to go back to university, hope that there will be many internships in Toronto and LA for you to send students to while they are pursuing a career in the arts.
The amalgamation of the arts into one group is brilliant of course, it will really allow the arts to be centralized into one place. Hopefully that will make it so that the government will never forget about us again while focusing on other industries who yell louder that their jobs are being cut, or that their pay is not enough. I wonder when the last time the film industry went on strike because their wages weren't enough, could you tell me when that happened last? I would genuinely like to know when we last complained about our declining wages.
Thank you again for the $24 Million dollars that you are promising to the development of young people in the arts. And for the $1 Million toward the research and development of the rest of the community. Do you know how long that research and development and Marketing will take? I would really like to be working again right now, on anything, but so far it looks like it's all into competition. It's funny, the only work I've had lately has costed me money, but that's alright. That's pretty much how it is here. You only get experience if you're willing to work for free so maybe those internships for students really will be a nice bridging gap. Do you think that I could get in to one of those internships or will they be age dictated?
Emily Carr is a wonderful school for the arts, it's very kind of you to extend your attention to them. I hope that the new building will make their entrance requirements a little easier, but then I'm reluctant to wish that considering that the small class sizes are far more desirable for teaching the arts, they're one of the few schools who try to keep them small too, so that they don't' get overwhelmed by students.
I wonder where all the young people who benefit from the increased funding into the arts programs are going to go when they graduate. I wonder how high the competition will be or how many jobs will be taken by free internships from those who already work for free just to gain experience. I wonder if there will even be a possibility for internships by the time they get there or if five years will be too late. I wonder too if there are any truly creative thinking individuals in jobs outside of the "arts" or if people still don't understand what creative people are worth. So far a concentration on the 'youth' of BC seems to be the fall back state for a great many things the government doesn't want to deal with.
I am worried that you are only focusing on the children because you do not know how to help the Artistic community in any concrete terms. I am worried that you throw money at our young people, while looking at the crowd and yelling that you are doing such a wonderful thing to distract them from the lack of results that you are coming up with in terms of what to do for those who are already in the arts. I am worried that your grand schemes will come to nothing but pretty words and wasted dollars in the long run.
Where are the strategies to help the arts community who are not "young" anymore? What should we who are already experienced or who have already finished school do to work in our chosen fields? How should we proceed if we are not young but we are just starting out in the industry? What are we to do as the jobs that should be there decline? The idea of jobs in BC seems to be a hot issue right now, but instead of coming up with a plan to build more jobs for the economy this plan seems to focus on building more people for the jobs that aren't there. Why is that?
Why don't we have plans for the future that start with what we already have in the industry? Why do we always have to go back to the 'young' people and assume that they are our future? What about the people who have helped to build the industry who are no longer young? What about those who are already passed "youth" and who are struggling to find their place in the industry?
These plans ARE wonderful for our young people, and when I decide to become a parent, I think I will be even more pleased about the subtle shift in our focus to include the arts as a much bigger area of study in the schools and after school programs that you are helping with this move. That is of course, IF I can afford to have a child or two because I am able to find work. That is IF I stay here in BC because there IS work. That is IF I can find even a regular job outside of my chosen industry.
It's a good start, this plan of yours. It has good things in it. The only thing I don't understand is how you can side-step the outcry of so many, and tell them that they don't matter. How can you take a cry of people wanting to work and say that you are dealing with it only to offer something that will just create more competition in an already too crowded industry with not enough jobs to go around?
Isn't that a little counter productive?
A Concerned Citizen.