District Band and Strings Cuts

Note: There is a form letter you can use at the bottom of this page.

VSB District Strings Program Newsletter – Urgent                        


Thursday, April 8, 2010


To: Parents/Guardians of All VSB Strings Program Students


From: VSB District String Orchestra Teachers (Emily Akita, Ruth Anderson, Geraldine Butler, James Colpitts, Sandra Fox, Eric Lam)


Re: 51 VSB Elementary Strings and Band Programs are Facing COMPLETE ELIMINATION



The Vancouver School Board is dealing with a funding shortfall of $18.12 million.  Without money to cover this shortfall, the VSB must find ways to increase revenue and/or reduce spending.


As you may have heard, one of the proposals in the VSB’s preliminary budget is to eliminate the VSB District Band and Strings Program.   This program currently serves many thousands of students in a total of 51 Vancouver elementary schools.  All 51 schools will lose their strings and band programs in September of 2010, if this part of the budget passes on April 29.


It is possible that some, or even most of the programs may survive or re-emerge under a user-pay system, but no details about what form this system would take are available from the VSB at this time.  (As a point of comparison, students in North Vancouver pay a $400 fee to join their district’s strings/band program.)


 If you do not want to lose the strings and band programs in Vancouver as they currently exist, the string orchestra teachers of the Vancouver School Board strongly suggest that you make your views known.  Please keep in mind that the window of opportunity to influence the outcome is very short.  On Thursday, April 29, the budget will finalized.  If you are interested in saving the VSB Elementary Strings and Band Program, we encourage you to do the following in the next two weeks:


Attend public consultations budget meetings

Write to your MLA, the Minister of Education and the Premier of British Columbia

Write to the Vancouver Board of Educations Trustees

Talk with other parents and community members about how these proposals will affect the education system and your child


Public Consultation Budget Meeting Schedule:


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Education Centre

Boardroom, 5:30 pm

Public Consultation on 2010/11 Preliminary Budget Proposals


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Location: Mount Pleasant Elementary,

7:00 p.m.

Public Consultation on 2010/11 Preliminary Budget Proposals


Wednesday, April 21, 2010 (to be held if necessary)

Education Centre

Boardroom, 7:00 pm

Public Consultation on 2010/11 Preliminary Budget Proposals


Those who wish to speak at the April 15, April 20 and April 21 meetings may register with the Administrative Coordinator at 604-713-5080, no later than two working days before the meeting. Trustees value your opinion and they invite you to make your views known, so that a budget can be developed that takes into consideration input received.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     (OVER)


Writing your MLA, the Minister of Education and the Premier of British Columbia


Premier of British Columbia

The Honourable Gordon Campbell

PO Box 9041 Stn Prov Govt

Victoria, BC  V8W 9E1

Email: premier@gov.bc.ca


Minister of Education

The Honourable Margaret MacDiarmid

PO Box 9045 Stn Prov Govt

Victoria, BC  V8W 9E2

Email: minister.educ@gov.bc.ca


For a contact list of your local MLA’s please refer to this weblink:






Writing your Vancouver Board of Education Trustees:


Patti Bacchus, Chair                                                      Email: patti.bacchus@vsb.bc.ca

Allen Blakey, Chair Personnel and Staff Services           Email: allen.blakey@vsb.bc.ca

Jane Bouey, Chair of Education and Student Services    Email: jane.bouey@vsb.bc.ca

Ken Clement, Vice Chair                                                Email: ken.clement@vsb.bc.ca

Ken Denike, Member                                                     Email: ken.denike@vsb.bc.ca

Carol Gibson, Member                                                   Email: carol.gibson@vsb.bc.ca

Sharon Gregson, Chair of Finance and Legal                  Email: sharon.gregson@vsb.bc.ca

Mike Lombardi, Chair of Management and Coordinating  Email: mike.lombardi@vsb.bc.ca

Allan Wong, Chair of Planning and Facilities                   Email: allan.wong@vsb.bc.ca


Mailing address:


Vancouver School Board

1580 West Broadway

Vancouver, BC  V6J 5K8





Please do not hesitate to contact your strings teacher should you have any questions or concerns.


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Apr 16, 2010, 12:18 AM