The “piano eviction” letter from the Edgewater Recreation Society (ERS) came out of the blue. There were no discussions with our group on taking everything out. Like most people we were baffled and hurt when the registered letter came without prior discussion.
Our inventive collection of stage gear has been built-up over 11 years to supplement the already excellent facilities of the rebuilt Edgewater Community Hall. We also worked hard on the Hall’s reconstruction for some 12 years that saw the original cardboard paneling replaced by drywall — much more durable but terrible acoustically. It was my and my friends’ project to bring a great acoustic to the Hall so that we could again play great music there after all those years. Hence the acoustic “sounders.”
Since Edgewater is the home of the long-time Lockwood Ensemble and favourite venue of many local musicians, we found ourselves needing a better piano than the Willis upright — so a great Seiler Grand was purchased by Barry Moore with the intention to bring it into the public sphere with help from CVArts. This piano (and the acoustics of the Hall) has attracted upcoming concerts by nationally recognized artists as well — perhaps as many as six upcoming concerts this season. Our concerts and practices have contributed to the revenue of the Hall, as was the original intention.
We always cleared the way with negotiations before building structures such as the storage room downstairs, or the lockable sidestage doorway or the most complicated project, the piano storage bay most people never even notice — it takes up so little room. We have stayed with this same small footprint for many years now.
Our insurance is up to date on this gear after some confusion due to not being invoiced.
The gear may not belong to the Rec but it belongs to an Edgewater-based and generally well-respected group of musicians and their fans. It cannot be just turfed.
We would appreciate your signature on our petition now circulating — so far the results, mostly in Edgewater, have been five to one in favour of efforts to keep the grand piano in the Hall. You may try to call a member of the ERS Board or RDEK representative Gerry Wilkie or write a letter of support. Perhaps the key is to show up at the next Recreation Society AGM to see that there is a more fair representation on the ERS Board.