To the editor:
Re: "Poodle on a pole perplexes Main Street resident," Jan. 9.
Thank you providing an interpretation of Main Street's newest public art piece - the "Unnamed" poodle-on-a-stick. Here's mine.
The poodle is located in a new park at the very heart of Mount Pleasant, one of the city's oldest communities with a long history of resident artists. Choosing an artist to create a visual set-piece for this little park was a great opportunity to hire someone local. While Montreal-based Gisele Amantea's work may be well respected, she has already been showcased in Vancouver before ("Red Horizontal" in David Lam Park) and will be further exhibiting her art on Trans-link buses in the coming months.
Cuts to arts funding continue. Yet somehow the final cost for this commissioned work came to nearly $100,000.
This week also marked the threatened closure of the Waldorf Hotel, which should remind us how important it is to support our local arts community. The Waldorf is at risk of joining the Ridge, the Playhouse Theatre Company, Richard's on Richards, and the eviction of the W2, among others, as losses that diminish the vibrancy of arts and culture in Vancouver.
The mayor talks about bringing in the creative community to grow the economy and confirm our status as a "World Class City." We need to provide artists a reason to stay, but city council and park board are sending conflicting messages by ignoring the resident artists and allowing key venues to fail. Taking any opportunity possible to retain local talent would be a good place to start.
Mia Edbrooke, Co-chair of the COPE Park Committee