Sandra Drygas 0

'The Nutcrackering' - An Essential Part of the Matty Eckler Dance Program

60 people have signed this petition. Add your name now!
Sandra Drygas 0 Comments
60 people have signed. Add your voice!
Maxine K. signed just now
Adam B. signed just now

As we have all recently heard, our annual Christmas show with Diane Thomson's 'All In The Dance' program is being threatened by a decision made by Antonio Andrade, the Supervisor of Community Recreation in Ward 30. We need everyone's support in order to reinstate our Christmas show this year. We need to book the theater by Friday, October 7th, so please do not waste anytime signing this petition and sharing it with your friends and family! The program that is run out of the Matty Eckler Community Centre and taught by Ms. Diane Thomson is innovative and should be nurtured and proudly displayed for our community. Diane runs the program in order to give back to the community and does not expect a lot in return. Many children are given the opportunity to learn from a wonderful teacher that would not normally be able to afford a professional-style program. Over 200 children participate in the program and show. Many have found confidence through the program and the performances that are an integral part of the program. Through their participation in the show, many children have learned the value of community spirit, the joy of creative expression and have acquired innumerable social skills that come naturally when you take part in a large scale production that involves parents, children, dancers, tech assistants and other volunteers. This is truly an amazing program and our annual Christmas show is very special to our community. Many volunteers step in to support the show through production assistance, costume creation and other key roles. The parents and sponsors carry almost ALL the hard costs of this show. We raise money through the sale of tickets and dvds recordings of the show to cover the costs of : venue rental, off duty police officers, costume expenses, tech support and other miscellaneous production costs. As you are likely aware, the Matty Eckler Community Centre is currently closed for renovations. Our dance program has been moved to the swimming pool change room at Riverdale Park. For this year's Christmas show, Ms. Thomson has already scouted and placed a hold on the newly upgraded Riverdale Collegiate auditorium. A few blocks from Matty Eckler, this local school can hold an audience of 600 plus our dancers and back stage volunteers will have the benefit of using classrooms as dressing/holding rooms. We feel very lucky to have the opportunity to perform in this renovated space that is so accessible to parents and students who live in the area. The date of the show is set for December 17, 2011. We have recently been informed by Antonio Andrade that the Christmas show will be cancelled because, in his own words: "There is not space and time available at Riverdale for rehearsals and preparation for a show, and the cost of renting the venue for a show is prohibitive after the expense of moving the floor to and from Matty Eckler." Many of us have emailed and contacted him and he has simply sent out a 'form letter' which cites the above 'concerns'. 1) We do not need extra space or time at Riverdale for rehearsals and preparation for the show. We do all that work within the set class times, that have already been booked at Riverdale Pool. The timing of this year's show, which is slated for December 17, is parallel to the same time frame of last year's show and there were not concerns cited then. 2) The cost of renting the venue is covered by funds we raised through efforts described above. The city does not pay for the venue rental. 3) We question the 'expense' of moving the floor to and from Matty Eckler. We wanted to hire movers to move this floor but was told by the city's office that the movers we were considering were inelgible because they were non unionized. So finally, Marcel, a staff member at Matty Eckler and a caretaker from the centre moved the special rubberized dance floor the classes required. What exactly is the cost of this move and is Mr. Andrade charging this staff time back to the program? If we had known that the costs were deemed so 'prohibitive' as to then be used to justify our Christmas show we would have found some volunteer parents to move this floor without involving staff members of the community centre (as we have done in the past for many shows). In short, these excuses provided by Mr. Andrade do not hold up to any scrutiny. We need everyone's help in order ensure the show is not cancelled. We are all busy working families, but we make time for this show because our children love being part of the performance and they learn so much from the experience. None of us want to tell our children that this year their dance show is being cancelled because the City seems to find it too much of a nuisance to support. Please don't let the City of Toronto turn into a 'scrooge' and take away the community celebration this Christmas! Please, sign this petition and share it with EVERYONE! Facebook, Twitter, email and blog about it! Let's get enough "signatures" to ensure they can not take away the kids Christmas show! Sincerely, The Concerned Parents of the All In The Dance Program at Matty Eckler


Share for Success