Greetings from the President!

Summer is almost over and hopefully we all found the time to relax, spend time with family and friends while reorganizing and putting our studio in order for the next academic year.

The executive board and I have lined up a meeting at the VSO School of Music on September 18 to be followed by a workshop of Gayle Dunsmoor on “Creative Keyboard Accompaniment Skills”. On October 16, we will have a masterclass conducted by Ms. Michelle Mares at the VSO School of Music. We will need a student in the intermediate and senior level for this masterclass. If your student has a securely memorized and polished piece and is willing to participate in this masterclass, please let me know by email. On November 19 our branch will hold a concert at the Unitarian Church to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada. And our Christmas lunch will be on December 4 at a venue which we will decide at our first meeting.

We are also planning three recitals this year. There will be two student recitals, the first will be on January 21 and the other on April 29. Our Celebration of Excellence recital will be on March 4. We will hold all three recitals at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.

We have a number of important topics to discuss at this meeting as it concerns our long standing festival, positions vacated by officers of the executive board and our membership fee for the following year.

Nobody has come forward to chair our festival. Therefore, the executive board has decided to suspend our festival next year. This will give us a whole year to plan and find a suitable person to chair the festival.

Two years ago, the provincial fees increased by $4.00 raising our contribution to them to $119.00. This time, it is CFMTA that is increasing their fee by $5.00. Therefore, our contribution to them will now be $124.00. The Vancouver branch has rolled back the branch fee to $71.00 to absorb the increase of the provincial fee of $4.00 last year. However, we no longer can do this for the coming year. The CFMTA increase will bring our membership fee for 2018 to $199.00.

As president of the branch, I feel that the contribution that we are giving to the provincial and CFMTA is too much for the benefits that we get from them. For most of us, the only benefit we have is acquiring the insurance with our membership.

If you want to voice your opinion or give your suggestions on these two important topics, please attend our first meeting of the year.

Toni Meyer
President, BCRMTA Vancouver Branch