Maestra Paula DeWit conducts members of the White Rock Community Orchestra, who have been funded by the city to produce a ‘virtual performance’ online. (File photo)

Maestra Paula DeWit conducts members of the White Rock Community Orchestra, who have been funded by the city to produce a ‘virtual performance’ online. (File photo)

White Rock funds cultural activities moved online by COVID-19

Museum, community orchestra receive production grants

White Rock council has approved two grants-in-aid for online activities aimed at helping keeping arts and culture alive in the city during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

White Rock Museum and Archives has received $5,000 for production of an online version of a historical walking tour of the city, conducted by archivist Hugh Ellenwood.

The White Rock Community Orchestra – which traces its roots in the city back more than 40 years – has received $3,000 for the creation of a promotional video performance by the orchestra.

For the recording, director Paula DeWit plans to follow the current trend of combining online contributions from individual musicians to create a virtual ensemble.

READ ALSO: Semiahmoo Peninsula singer joins voices with vocal partner to form virtual choir

Both grants, approved unanimously by council, came forward to council as recommendations from the city’s grants-in-aid committee, chaired by Coun. David Chesney.

Council, however, also agreed to put another request for a similar project – initially recommended by the committee – on hold until the committee’s next meeting in the fall.

Peninsula Productions had requested $3,500 from the city for camera equipment to assist in creating an online version of the group’s ongoing program of staged play-readings at its ‘black box’ theatre in Centennial Park.

But Chesney suggested that the grant request be returned to the committee for clarification, after noting that the total cost of the equipment package was $6,272.

“When originally proposed to us (as a) late grant for $3,500, it was not indicated that this was a portion of the purchase of equipment,” Chesney told council. “In the past when we have made purchases of equipment – i.e. sound and lighting for the ‘black box’, we had the caveat that that material we were purchasing would actually remain the property of the City of White Rock.

“I wanted to have the same addendum put on to the camera (request) but it appears it is only a portion of the camera – this makes it difficult for the city to say ‘we’ll take half the camera’, so I’d like to send this back to the next meeting for further discussion.”

The amount for all three requests – totalling $11,500 – comes within the remaining arts and culture grant-in-aid budget of $12,299, which had been boosted by $2,000 allocated for two White Rock Players Club galas which did not take place, due to the closure of the theatre due to COVID-19.

The club also anticipates that it will not hold a gala in the fall, which would release another $1,000 to the budget.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

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