The recent decision to exclude the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Society (BFMAS) from participating in the 2013 Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival leaves a number of questions unanswered regarding the established protocol for this event.
Why is there a committee funded by the City of Brandon that allows for two votes per organization based on the length of time they have been a member of the committee? To what purpose does this serve?
Why is a civically funded board allowed to have a “sealed ballot” vote? How open and transparent is this?
How can a civic-funded organization render decisions with no reason provided and no appeal process?
Who are the members of the executive committee and the pavilion committee? Why is this information not available on the festival website?
If other Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival organizers are able to channel funding to such projects as the painting of a church and to various charities, why is it deemed inappropriate for BFMAS to channel money to not-for-profit music and arts initiatives which benefit the Brandon community?
BFMAS is a registered not-for-profit organization with a constitution, by laws and charitable tax status through the federal government of Canada. As such, BFMAS is bound by guidelines which include making annual financial statements available for public review. Should not all societies involved in the festival be held to the same account?
Perhaps when these questions are answered there will be some light shed on the protocol that guides the Winter Festival and why this protocol led to the decision not to include the U.S.A. pavilion that was run so successfully by the Brandon Folk, Music and Art Society last year.
Founding BFMAS member and
Former BFMAS chairperson
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 8, 2013