Increased chamber website fees will inhibit cultural expressions

Summerland District Council is looking for input on ways to enhance culture in our community.

Dear Editor:

Anita Perry’s letter to the editor last week caught my attention because it comes at a time when Summerland District Council is looking for input on ways to enhance culture in our community.

If what Ms. Perry says is true, the Chamber of Commerce, by increasing her website fees, will inhibit rather than enhance expressions of culture in our town.

As a senior, I have enjoyed recitals performed free by students of the Perry Music Studio.

The quality of their playing is excellent. I was impressed with the relaxed and warm way in which students and teacher related to one another.

Ms. Perry has been bringing her students to perform concerts at care homes and senior’s centres in Summerland and Penticton for the past 17 years, free of charge.

Her school is a rich source of culture in Summerland.

Apparently a website with basic information about her as a music teacher is essential for Ms. Perry to recruit students. Websites have become pivotal for any group wanting to become known in the community.

They are the means by which we learn about our cultural activities. It seems only logical if we wish to enhance the spread of culture in Summerland, that we remove the barriers to easy and open communications.

That, to me would mean free or very low cost websites for businesses and groups making cultural contributions through their programs.

To achieve that goal I think the District Council and the Chamber of Commerce need to re-examine the by-laws that govern business licenses, keeping in mind the feedback from the Cultural Advocacy Committee.

They need to examine this question: Are these licenses just a tax source, or are they designed to encourage the expansion of our cultural values?

Keith Dixon