Kudos to The Record for its feature article on the Georgia Straight Jazz Society, as the community celebrates the society’s 10th anniversary. Many volunteers, board members, and area musicians deserve a huge “Thank you” for making the society an integral part of the Comox Valley cultural scene.
It is unfortunate that the article made no mention of those who brought the Society in to being, and indeed diminishes their accomplishments. Prior to Mr. Holt’s joining the board, a dedicated group of volunteers:
• supported the development and operation of the newly formed Georgia Straight Big Band;
• presented well attended weekly jazz concerts by local and Vancouver Island musicians (in 2008, a typical audience was 60, more than just “family and friends”);
• in 2007 transitioned in both name and format from a ‘jazz jam’ to a ‘jazz club’, but continued to hold a jam following many of the weekly concerts, where local musicians met and formed many fine local jazz bands;
• presented 17 ticketed Sunday concerts featuring top jazz artists from across Canada starting with Mark Atkinson Trio in 2006, followed by Phil Dwyer, PJ Perry and many more;
• established a bursary to assist students entering post-secondary music education;
• held fundraisers benefiting those as local as YANA and remote as Cuban school children.
A quick read of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Annual General Meeting President’s messages, available on the society’s web site, will show that this list is far from comprehensive. This all came about because of the vision and hard work of people such as Dave Harvey, Rob Peterson, Bill Street, Don MacKay, Ray Griffiths, and many others, none of whom were acknowledged. Credit where credit is due.