Confederation Centre will get $100,000 for Canada Rocks, the remainder of $240,000 grant to go back to 2014 operating budget
© Guardian photo
The office for the Charlottetown conference anniversary.
The Confederation Centre of the Arts' 2014 production of Canada Rocks will be getting less money from P.E.I. 2014 than producers had hoped for.
The P.E.I. 2014 board of directors has ruled against giving the full $240,000 grant it had originally committed to the centre for two shows, Canada Rocks and a new production called 1864: The Musical.
P.E.I. 2014 Inc. issued a news release this afternoon stating that it has approved a $100,000 contribution for Canada Rocks. The remaining $140,000 will go to the 2014 operating budget.
"After consideration of the costs required in producing a new musical versus an enhanced and updated version of an existing production, the board of directors determined that a $100,000 contribution to the Confederation Centre of the Arts to produce Canada Rocks in 2014 was a fair and equitable amount," Penny Walsh McGuire, P.E.I. 2014 executive director, said in the release.
The P.E.I. 2014 fund will not be re-opened, stated the release.
Confederation Centre CEO Jessie Inman told The Guardian earlier this month that Canada Rocks wouldn't get the treatment it needs to return to the stage if the 2014 board reneged on part of the original $240,000 grant.
"Canada Rocks basically needs a rewrite,'' she said in an Oct. 2 interview. "It is quite old. The music has to be updated.''
Inman said the centre had applied for $250,000 to help revamp Canada Rocks and was also seeking $250,000 to help stage 1864: The Musical, which was to tell the story of the historic Charlottetown Conference. However, they were only granted $240,000 in total to put towards both projects.
Inman was not available for comment Thursday after the news came that Canada Rocks would have to make do with $100,000.
Peter Bevan-Baker, who collaborated with Perry Williams to write the script and music for 1864, told The Guardian last week that he believes the $240,000 granted to the Confederation Centre was, in fact, specifically earmarked for his show.
The P.E.I. 2014 website seemed to add credence to Bevan-Baker's claim by noting $240,000 was granted to help the Charlottetown Festival "celebrate the sesquicentennial of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference with a new, locally written theatrical production.''
There is mention of only one production, not two. Also, Canada Rocks is not a new musical. It played on the main stage of the Confederation Centre in 2005 and 2006.
Walsh told The Guardian Thursday, in hindsight, the site should have stated the $240,000 was granted for two musical productions. She also provided The Guardian a copy of the funding agreement to show the funding was for the Confederation to put towards both Canada Rocks and 1864: The Musical.
"It's unfortunate that 1864: The Musical will not be part of the season next year,'' adds Walsh McGuire.
Overall, Walsh McGuire says the $5 million P.E.I. 2014 Fund has been a success.
She adds P.E.I. 2014 is seeking further support from the federal government for the year-long celebration next year to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference.
Ottawa has to date committed more than $2.1 million.
The provincial standing committee on public accounts will be looking into the grants provided by the P.E.I. 2014 Fund on Oct. 31.