February 10, 2016 - 1:03 PM
VERNON - Money problems could stop the music for a community band that performs for free at several Vernon events every year.
The Vernon Community Band, a group of about 30 members, provides music at events around the city, including Remembrance Day, Bike to Work Week, and hospital auxiliary fundraisers.
The non-profit group is struggling with rental costs and other financial areas, leaving it unsure if it can survive, spokesperson Bjorn Edblad told Vernon council Tuesday, Feb. 9.
“Our band is at a crossroads as to whether we can continue or not,” Edblad said.
The group rehearses in the band room at Vernon Secondary School, but rental costs have gone up to $30 an hour. That adds up to $3,000 to $4,000 a year if the band practices as much as it needs to. As recently as several years ago, the group used the room free of charge.
“The question we have is does the City of Vernon and this council see value in having a community band in the first place?” Edblad said.
He appealed to council for suggestions on how to save the band, including getting funding from the city. To make it to the end of the year, he said the group needs to come up with $2,000.
Councillors suggested everything from hosting a benefit concert to seeking sponsorships from local businesses, promising no direct funding for the band itself.
Council will discuss the request at its next meeting Feb. 22.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016