Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dues Referendum 2014 - guest post

One of the greatest joys of being involved in the theatre is the sense of collaboration and community. We become fast friends as we go through the process of creating theatre, and we are constantly reminded that we cannot do it alone – we are always beholden to our fellow performers, our crew, our creative team, our stage manager, our audience. That sense of togetherness and interconnectivity is tangibly manifested in the work of CAEA.

This is a huge country and each theatre centre has its unique strengths and challenges and CAEA helps to give a sense of national consciousness. As a national whole, we carry more clout as a professional association, can help effect policy-makers and funding agencies, promote the concerns of theatre constituents, and help foster a sense of group.

We are not alone in the increasingly difficult struggle to produce meaningful work, we have a collective voice in our continuing fight for respect and support and we have a central support system to ensure fair, and equitable treatment by our engagers. This united front cannot be everything for everybody, but tries to prioritize the desires of the membership under the guidance of Council.

These collective desires require resources.

Staff and Council have stretched the Association's resources as far as they will go, because it is understood that many members cannot make anything that resembles a living from the venues under CAEA’s jurisdiction, and it is also understood that we are operating in an industry always hungry for money. There is no more fat to cut. Annual membership dues and working dues (our only major source of income) have remained frozen for the past 14 years. Expenses have risen – this has put tremendous pressure on the Association’s healthy financial picture.

The proposed dues increase has been kept to a bare minimum and warrants your approval because I know that you, like I, value a strong national voice and a valid national presence. My concern is that if the dues increase does not pass with the rigorous ⅔ approval rate required, that present services will have to be cut – including some hard fought for services, like the Western Office!

David Adams
Member, BC/Yukon

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