Camosun College is facing difficult challenges as it deals with shrinking budgets. Provincial funding has been level for a number of years and thus not keeping pace with inflation. Opportunities to raise tuitions are limited.
Among the programs under the budget-cutting microscope are the post-secondary music programs run jointly with the Victoria Conservatory of Music. These programs, which represent less than half of one per cent of Camosun’s operating budget, have flourished over a 40-year partnership. They are unique for their intense focus on applied education and performance training, providing our students with immediate entry to professional work and careers in the music field. Together, we have nearly doubled the size of student enrollments in these programs over the past eight years.
The VCM produces the musicians of the future. Thirty-nine per cent of Victoria Symphony musicians are members of the VCM’s world-class faculty; and 45 per cent of the members of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra are VCM students.
Perhaps more importantly, music enriches lives. It has been shown that there is a positive connection between music training and professional achievement. Music provides a great foundation and confidence that can easily be translated to any workplace.
The VCM is working with the Camosun management team and has presented a revised financial model that could be implemented should Camosun approve it at its board meeting on May 5.
We urge Camosun College to save its proven 40-year Camosun/VCM partnership and keep the music playing.
Chairman, board of governors
Victoria Conservatory of Music