I grew up in a small town in Alberta with little opportunity to experience music. As a child my mother took me to church every Sunday where I had my only exposure to live music. Every Sunday I had to fight back tears as I heard the church choir but never understood why.
I had the opportunity to take music in junior high school and immediately music became my best subject. For the first time in my life I experienced confidence. In high school I attended a summer music camp that changed my life. I was immersed in music for 12 hours a day and connected with a community of other kids like me that were also passionate about music. I did not want the experience to end and imagined that I could continue doing this for the rest of my life.
In 1978, I started my music studies in trombone performance at University of Calgary, University of British Columbia and the University of Texas at Austin. I was able to realize my dream with my career as a professional trombonist for 30 years.
In 1989 I was appointed as the Assistant to the Director of Summer Music Programs at the Banff Centre working with Tom Rolston. This was another life changing experience. I was inspired by Tom’s boundless energy to serve artists. His constant message to musicians was the need to build the role that music had in each of their communities. My work at the Banff Centre infected me.
I also shared my love of music through teaching and remembered how music made such a difference in my life. My students at Mount Royal University won many national and international awards. I was also involved in the creation of a live streaming distance learning project with organizations like the Chicago Symphony, Toronto Symphony and the Eastman School of Music. I worked with Yamaha Canada as a Performing Artist/Clinician and traveling to schools all across Western Canada. I founded “The Clinic Line” – a unique and innovative enterprise that brought thousands of professional musicians into schools to work with students.
In 2003 I had the unfortunate experience of spending a week in a palliative care ward and had an incredible clarifying experience. Music had brought me on an amazing creative journey and enriched my life. I regretted not be able to share my experience with more people and thought that if I could – the world would be a better place.
In 2004 I lead a group that purchased Wesley United Church in Calgary to form a music hub including an 800-seat community performance hall, music school and studio/offices for the community. The City of Calgary did not approve the zoning of this project due to parking but we were able to hand the church and the vision over to Calgary Opera to become their headquarters. Calgaryopera.com/about-us/arrata-opera-centre
In 2009 I was appointed BC Regional Director of the Canadian Music Centre in Vancouver. I brought the idea of creating a community music hub to the CMC which was renamed the BC Creative Hub. This successful model has since been adopted in the CMC across Canada. In 2012 the idea of the Digital Hub was further developed to build our community with the live streaming of concerts and the Composer in the Classroom Distance Learning project. This project won the TELUS Technology Innovation award in 2012. “The current impact of CMC BC is commended as influential, necessary and important.” BC Arts Council 2014 Advisory
In 2014 I was thrilled to be part of the winning bid committee that will bring the 2017 ISCM World Music Days to Vancouver. This will be only the third time in the 95-year history that the World Music Days will be held in North America. Our efforts to build a dynamic creative music community in Vancouver have paid off!
What I see
From what I see and what I have learned from my experience I believe we are at the stage where there are huge new and exciting creative opportunities.
I can see that live streams and podcasts are the future of broadcasting. I am excited about the idea that we can broadcast live experiences to a global audience.
The Detroit Symphony and National Public Radio have clearly demonstrated the contribution of live streaming and podcasts to connecting people, growing audience and becoming sustainable.
Four years ago the Detroit Symphony Orchestra developed the vision to become the most accessible orchestra in the world. Some thought that live streaming would hurt ticket sales. Instead ticket sales and donations went up from 50% to 90% with their digital broadcasts creating new audiences with a hunger for creativity and the live concert experience.
National Public Radio, enduring massive government cutbacks, is on track to break even for the first time in six years. The demand for high quality creative digital talk radio, interviews, and storytelling podcasts is on the rise creating a new generation of audiences.
It is in our common interest as a creative community to excite interest in exploring the creative experience and to use live streams and podcasts, the future of broadcasting as the catalyst.
So this is what I am doing
I am producing a high definition on line broadcasts of live performances to excite interest in exploring the creative experience. I am using a production crew of 6-7 cameras, audio technician, switcher and creative director to bring the viewer more intimately into the experience. The idea is to focus on moving from providing an entertainment experience to providing a creative experience. Because I am bringing together the creative community in Vancouver to collaborate around creating live experiences which will demonstrate.
I am doing this to demonstrate our appreciation for the power of music to create connections, create community and excite interest in the creative experience to excite more conscious creative thinking that could contribute to accelerating our creative and cultural evolution as a community.
So what I see we can do is
We can then these live stream broadcasts and podcasts from an entertainment experience into a creative experience.
our demonstrated ability to produce and distribute high quality live stream content around the world. This process once required the immense resources of billion dollar media and music corporations.
These live streams/podcasts directly connects the artist with a much wider audience than we could imagine in the past.
We can use these broadcasts to develop a much wider yet more direct and powerful relationship between musicians and their fans. We can create connections through telling their stories. We want to develop a community of interest around the power of music.
These new communities of interest can then be leveraged with an entrepreneurial energy.
Arts organizations have mission, mandate and value statements with something in common. Everyone has a common interest in becoming sustainable by creating connections and growing audiences.
We have the capability to produce high quality broadcasts with a small investment.