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LETTER: What’s happening to key staff at The ACT?

While arts centre prepares for slow re-opening, it will apparently do it without a few key people
The ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge looks at how it will slowly reopen during the coming months (The News files)

Dear Editor,

I am concerned about the recent articles with respect to The ACT Arts Centre. [RE: Live theatre performances to restart in October at ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge, May 25, The News online and ACT board cautious about reopening the arts centre in Maple Ridge, May 12, The News online].

The articles state that core business operations are being sustained with grant money from municipal, provincial, and federal programs along with emergency funding to the arts sector.

Decades of support from the local community is credited for the success of the organization.

Further high fives are given to the almost 80 per cent of patrons who donated ticket refunds due to the pandemic.

This demonstrates how important arts and culture are to our community and country.

What is missing from both of these news articles is mention of the permanent job losses for staff at The ACT Arts Centre.

I am aware of two permanent terminations: The gallery curator and gallery assistant and shop coordinator.

This does not equate to core business being sustained.

RELATED: UPDATE - The ACT shuts its doors

Particularly when the art gallery and gift shop can safely open to the public well ahead of the theatre.

I don’t understand how, with the support mentioned, as well as wage subsidy, The ACT Arts Centre has suffered to this extent so rapidly.

The reputation and stature of the ACT art gallery has grown since our curator Barbara Duncan was employed 10 years ago.

The gallery is a key part of our arts centre’s success.

Our community is fortunate to have an excellent facility and citizens and artists served by the gallery expect professional management of the facility.

While announcements of reopening and upcoming exhibits are coming in from other community art galleries, ours appears to be collapsing.

Raeanne Schachter, Maple Ridge



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