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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

2008 Canadian Orchestra Website Review: Trends and Detailed Scores

Drew McManus of Adaptistration just released his Canadian Orchestra website review.  The actual rankings were released yesterday, and yes, I'll spoil the surprise: the ESO's website ranked first.

It was a a bit of a shock to see, since to me, the website that we launched this past summer still feels very much like a work in progress. So I was certainly looking forward to the score breakdown.  As I hoped, we scored relatively well (highest in Canada) in the "dynamic content" category - basically, content like this blog, program notes, etc. It's certainly gratifying for our work here to be recognized, but all I can say is, stay tuned! There's more that we can and will do.

Here is the score breakdown: 

2008 Canadian Orchestra Website Review: Trends and Detailed Scores

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Ok, last one, really

Someone just forwarded this to me, so one more before the weekend:


Last word on the election

Make sure to vote on Tuesday.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Program Notes in your inbox

We're offering a new feature on the ESO website: program notes online, with delivery via rss or email, sent prior to the concert. This will let you read up about a concert before you come. Most people find that they enjoy a concert more when they have some background information about the pieces being performed, so if you're a regular attender, I encourage you to take advantage of this resource.  Even if you're not planning on attending a particular concert, the information in the program notes will help you in this situation.

You can read them online (and sign up for automatic delivery if you like) here.  Program notes will be posted anywhere between 1 and 3 weeks in advance of a performance.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Partying like it's 2001

Google is celebrating their 10th anniversary, and to celebrate they've released their archive of the world wide web as it existed in 2001.

Of course, I had to see what looked like 7 years ago.  Not all the links work, of course, but it's still interesting to see.


Friday, October 3, 2008


Composer and conductor H.K. Gruber joins the ESO for a rather unusual performance tonight and tomorrow that features his work Frankenstein!!  The BBC Music Magazine said:

"Is Frankenstein!! a set of Roald Dahl-ish sinister-magical songs masquerading as a grown-up song-cycle?  Or political satire hiding under a charming Viennese facade?  Or is it a caberet entertainment, like Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, but with added sugar and chocolate?  Gruber himself takes on the role of chansonnier with lip-smacking relish."


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Chauncey Q Fancypants

The Rick Mercer Report's take on Stephen Harper's comments

Also, those familiar with the blogosphere know all about a blog called "Stuff White People Like." It's a tongue-in-cheek look at, well, stuff white people like.  Recent posts, for example, cover things like Pea Coats, Frisbee Sports, Self Aware Hip Hop References, and so on.  As the site claims, it takes the "scientific approach" which makes it all the funnier - think David Attenborough observing "white people" in their natural element kind of thing.  Anyhow, a few weeks ago was #108, Appearing to Enjoy Classical Music.  I got a good laugh out of that one, and now there's even a comic about it.  Here's an excerpt:

If a white person starts talking to you about classical music, it’s essential that you tread very lightly.  This is because white people are all petrified that they will be exposed as someone who has only a moderate understanding of classical music.  When a white person encounters another white person who actually enjoys classical music (exceptionally rare), it is often considered to be one of the most traumatic experiences they can go through.
“Really?  Beethoven’s 5th Symphony….that’s your favorite.”
“um, no, I mean…”
“You sure it’s not Pachebel’s Canon?”
“well, ah, I like that, ah, song”
“sigh, of course you do.”


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stephen Harper likes tax cuts

On Monday the Conservative Party announced the Children's Arts Tax Credit, which basically mirrors the Children's Fitness Tax Credit they implemented two years ago.  Basically parents can claim up to $500 in expenses for arts-related activities (as yet undecided, but presumably music lessons, art lessons, etc) for their kids 16 and under.

Now, I firmly believe this would never have been announced but for the outcry after Stephen Harper's comment last week. So I think it's important to note that we've been heard, and if concerted efforts continue to be made in this area, arts funding is an issue that will stay on the table.

My feeling, however, is that this measure is too little, too late, by a party that hardly seems to have thought about the arts, other than to look greedily at where money could be reallocated. The original tax credit from two years ago, the one designated for fitness activities, should have included arts activities right from the start.  This announcement is just catching up to 2006.


Arts funding rally tonight

Prior to the Margaret Atwood lecture tonight at the Winspear, there is a rally in Churchill Square (across the street from the Winspear) for arts funding from 6 PM to 7 PM.  Here's the facebook event.