YAC Cuts Ties With It’s ED Bruce Davis in Cornwall Ontario – by Jamie Gilcig #CWLARTS

YAC Cuts Ties With  It’s ED Bruce Davis in Cornwall Ontario – by Jamie Gilcig #CWLARTS

YAC (Your Arts Council) announced today that it was moving away from having an Executive Director and cutting ties with Bruce Davis.

Davis had been with YAC since it’s political inception with Community Futures under Francois Desormeaux.

YAC had stated at the budget hearings that it needed cash from the City of Cornwall to retain its ED.

It gained over $30,000 from taxpayers while the City cut funding to its 33 year old public art gallery to zero.

It’s president stated in the release:

“Our Executive Director, Bruce Davis, will not be returning from his leave of absence when it ends on July 6th. In fact, we’ve had to close the position of Executive Director completely. We want to sincerely thank Bruce for his incredible work getting us this far, and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Mr. Davis had been on paternal leave expecting to return, especially after funding was achieved.

CFN spoke one on one with Davis shortly after the release was issued.

CFN

Bruce how do you feel with YAC not taking you back from Paternal leave? You were with them since their inception?

Bruce Davis

I am sad to say good-bye. I feel momentum was finally building and I still have many visions I want to actualize. I feel this is a risky but I guess necessary move for YAC.

CFN

How did you find out that you were not coming back?

Bruce Davis

Betty, Chair and Vice Chair Amanda rented a room at SLC and told me that the board voted to close the position and that a new position was being created, an administrator and that I could compete for that job if I wanted it, that meant I had to interview and compete with other candidates as far as I know

CFN

That must have been a shock to you? What would the difference in that role have been in scope?

Bruce Davis

I am not sure the difference. Nothing was presented to me other than less money and shorter hours

If my position was restructured to part time and less money I would have been okay with that

CFN

Did you offer YAC that option?

Bruce Davis

I did in the past, I even told the board I would volenteer as ED, what ever was needed to get the job done.

CFN

How serious do you think the commitment is to funding for the Arts in Cornwall and SD&G in light of TAG’s funding cut and now the loss of your experience and skill for YAC?

Bruce Davis

I believe SDG & Cornwall are at a cross-roads when it comes to committing to the arts. On one hand I see funding being increased, on the other I see cuts.

CFN

Well TAG was cut to Zero with only part of its stipend given to YAC on the grounds of paying its ED. Didn’t President Betty Healey state to council at the budget hearings that your job was in jeopardy if they didn’t get funding from the city?

Bruce Davis

Yes that sounds familiar and that was the framework for the city application. It would have been the same for OAC funding applicatons – we need this money to protect our leader, our ED

CFN

What do you think the biggest challenge is to being an artist in Cornwall?

Bruce Davis

Support from other artists, support from the city, support from arts org is hard to come by

CFN
We’re seeing some of those issues with TAG from having our funding cut to local artist politics.  What do you think needs to be done to move forward locally?
Bruce Davis
I think we need to rally around arts, we need to properly fund arts and we need celebrate it and work together to sustain it.
CFN
That seems to be the hurdle, working together. In your opinion is it more the culture of the community or the fact that so little has been given to the arts that groups almost fight for the scraps like dogs?
Bruce Davis
I think the issue is a shift in seeing the total value of arts and culture. I still feel that art is viewed as a fun side project, an after school activity here that carries with it little value. If we are going to support it, we need to really respect it
CFN
Near final question: Do you or part of you feel personally let down by YAC for not bringing you back, even part time, especially as they stated they needed their funding for you? (your job)
Bruce Davis
Let down is not a politically correct term. I feel sad but I know they are acting in what they feel is the best interest of the organization.

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1 Comment on "YAC Cuts Ties With It’s ED Bruce Davis in Cornwall Ontario – by Jamie Gilcig #CWLARTS"

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John Ross
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The loss of Bruce Davis as the executive director of the Arts Council will be a loss for the arts communtiy. HAving worked in the past with Mr Davis, his dedication to arts and culture was a fire that burned brightly. Cornwall as usual prefers to spend their money in other areas, and no doubt the inside politics of Cornwall put the sack on this position . Of course we all know that the city of Cornwall has so much culture . does’nt it? Cornwalls loss for sure.

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