Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Call To Arms

As if the news that federal and provincial funding for Milton's long awaited Arts Centre has been denied wasn't bad enough, now it seems that the $32 million Phase II expansion of the Milton Sports Centre will be going ahead at light speed, and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2011.

Milton's Town Council announced its intent to build both the Arts Centre and the Sports Centre at the same time, in the spring of 2000. From that point, Phase I of the Sports Centre was designed, built and opened within three and a half years, and now it seems that Phase II will be proceeding even more quickly.

Another major capital project, the Town Hall Expansion, also went from planning to completion in record time. After proposing the $24 million expansion in the summer of 2005 and going through at least one complete redesign, the project is nearing completion and town staff are already moving in.

Again, that's three and a half years from proposal to completion.

By contrast, it took six years from that original announcement of the intention to build an Arts Centre just to get a site chosen and a development budget approved. And that was two and a half years ago. Since then... nothing. Not even a drawing.

I, for one, am fed up. I'm fed up with holding concerts in drafty churches and crowded school auditoriums. I'm fed up with the biggest venue in town being a barn. I'm fed up with having to drive to Mississauga or Oakville to see shows that we should be able to host right here. I'm fed up with hearing about the great galleries in Dundas and Unionville, while our one privately owned gallery is bursting at the seams. I'm fed up with delays and excuses, and politicians who seem to think that a photo-op with a hockey jersey will buy them more votes than one at a concert or a play.

Most of all, I'm fed up with sports funding trumping arts funding every single time.

Artists and performers of Milton, rise up! We need to start making demands. We need to be heard. It's time to take to the streets.

Stay tuned, and keep April 1st open on your calenders.

1 comment:

Erigami said...

Welcome to suburbia.