This letter is written to clarify some of the information reported in the Taber Times of “Utility bill a hefty one for arts council.”
Since 2011, the Arts Council of Taber has not paid the utility costs associated with operating the Centre Court. The figure may well be $78,000. However, this amount includes both actual costs and interest. The latter may be compounded according to accounting principles and practices. It has been the understanding of ACT, that there has been a tacit agreement between the Town and ACT that the utility costs would be overlooked while ACT was working towards establishing the Centre Court as a performing arts centre and investing its proceeds. Regarding the $29,000 that ACT has in its building fund: this amount came from donors and fund raising for the express purpose of building up funds for the completion of the Centre Court and not for expenses in the operation of the building. From 2007 until 2012, approximately $185,000 was raised in the community through donations of money, materials and labour. All but $29,000 has been invested in the theatre complex to meet the vision of a modern arts centre.
Unfortunately, we realized that this dream could not be fulfilled so fund raising for the complex ceased in 2012. Since then the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) committee was appointed by the Town to ascertain the need for a larger and more multiuse performing arts centre. ACT has made the determination to dissolve as a society and is in the process of distributing its assets to other performing arts causes. Requesting, not demanding, the Town to be the repository of the $29,000 for the purchase of a new grand piano and accessories to store it and maintain it, is one of those actions. This piano would be purchased when the new convention/performing arts centre is completed in 2019. If the Town would rather we give them this money for back payment of utilities, then that amount is $29,00 less that we would have available to furnish the new complex.
The hope is that the Town will allow Taber Players to occupy Centre Court and continue to serve the community as they and we have done in the past. It has been a holding centre for costumes including clothes, hats, shoes, sewing material, jewellery, theatre construction materials and constructed items for use by numerous organizations that have borrowed them at no cost.
We thank the Town for their generosity and patience with us as we have attempted to develop a viable performing arts complex. We hope their understanding of our attempts will not dissuade them from their present and full support as they and the PAC committee move forward in developing the functional and exciting new complex that will become an integral part of the existing community centre.
PRESIDENT, ARTS COUNCIL OF TABER