Thursday, 3 August 2017

Support this Project

Government funding of all kinds is notoriously unstable and fickle. A change of government often means the end of funding for some worthy organizations and the beginning of funding for others. I get that it’s often offered as seed money – after which point, citizens now aware of and grateful for a particular service are expected to take up the slack, which is great in theory but (in my experience) seldom works in practice.

The only expectations funding should be contingent upon is whether or not the money is used as promised and does the greatest good for the greatest number of people who genuinely need that support.

Which is why I am puzzled by the loss of funding from the Ontario Arts Council for the ChiSeries/Chiaroscuro reading series.

In case you don’t know much, or anything, about it – ChiSeries is a public reading series run and hosted by Sandra Kasturi and Brett Savory - Ontarians both - and publishers of the celebrated ChiZine Publications which has won all sorts of awards and published gorgeous books by some of the best literary, speculative fiction authors in the world, including Craig Davidson, Helen Marshall, Tony Burgess, Caitlin Sweet, Michael Rowe, and Gemma Files.

An important venue for newcomers and veteran writers alike – ChiSeries has built community, by hosting genre fiction readings and other literary events – for thousands if not ten of thousands of attendees in Toronto, Ottawa, Guelph, Peterborough, and Windsor – as well as major cities in other provinces. The hundreds of authors and performers (readers do not need to be ChiZine authors; ie: While I have never been published by ChiZine, I am grateful for the opportunity to have done a couple of Chiseries readings.) not only get to present their work to receptive, enthusiastic audiences – they get paid for doing it! If there ever was an arts project that deserved government funding, this is it. Hopefully, the Ontario Government will eventually come back to its senses and renew their support. But in the meantime, Brett and Sandra have had to look for other ways to keep this great reading series going. One of the best ways to support them is by attending – because then you get get to enjoy the wonderful music, stories and camaraderie firsthand. But there are other ways.

So if you like reading, writing – or even just watching great sci-fi, fantasy and horror – you’d be doing a good deed for creators across Canada by dropping into the their website and making a five or ten dollar donation. Visit http://ChiZinepub.com/chiseries/ to find out about readings in your area and maybe make a Paypal donation. And spread the word about their Kickstarter in September 2017. 

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