Community support for arts and youth and the business of the arts highlighted the inaugural Women of Note networking event at the Nanaimo Museum Nov. 1.
The luncheon, presented by the Vancouver Island Symphony, included 75 local women who believe in the importance of arts and culture in the community.
Guest speaker Sasha Angus, CEO of the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, spoke on the value of the arts in Nanaimo, noting arts, culture and heritage sector tracked ahead of traditional sectors of the economy such as transportation, manufacturing and construction in terms of employment in the last census.
“It is important to have a vibrant arts and culture community as part of a city’s quality of life in order to attract jobs and new businesses,” he said.
Angus also cited the Vancouver Island Symphony’s economic impact study that showed the role arts organizations play as a two-fold economic generator in their communities through the impact of the arts organization itself as well as its audiences’ spending.
He noted the eight concerts of the Vancouver Island Symphony’s season yield a total economic impact of $1.2 million, while local restaurants enjoyed $11,400 in revenue spent by VIS audience members on one performance night.
The symphony’s 2012-13 season theme is Music is Life, Live it Here, and celebrates community.
Building on the increased emphasis the City of Nanaimo and the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce place on the value of the arts to the community, Women of Note co-chairwomen Andrea Rosato-Taylor and Marianne Turley encouraged attendees to donate $10 a month to support the symphony’s Education Shows in 2013.
These contributions ensure elementary school students from 10 school districts are able to see a live performance of the Vancouver Island Symphony as part of its 2013 Youth and Education Concerts program.
The next Women of Note function – a wine and cheese event with chocolate and music – takes place Jan. 18.
For more information about joining Women of Note, please contact the symphony office at 250-754-0177 or visit www.vancouverislandsymphony.com.