Of course the Jets being here make a difference. So does the Human Rights museum and their efforts to raise funds. It's good that the Jets are here. We just all have to make adjustments to the way we sell, the way we organize, and we have to find new markets.
—Trudy Schroeder, Executive Director of Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
Fears that the return of The Winnipeg Jets would divert Winnipeggers'
entertainment dollars away from the arts seem to be unfounded, at least
A survey by SCENE shows that just two out of eight arts stalwarts in the city are ending their season in the red.
Manitoba's flagship theatre company, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre
reported a shocking $420,154 deficit on a budget of almost $8 million.
Despite what the organization feels was a stellar season artistically,
subscriptions and single ticket sales fell significantly. Poorer
attendance was particularly felt at the John Hirsch Mainstage.
Despite increased subscriptions and enrollment for school programs and summer camps, Manitoba Theatre for Young People is nearly $1.8 million in debt
due to the $5.6 million cost to build at The Forks. The organization
sent out a public plea for donations and has already received $25,000.
In one instance, two young Aboriginal girls held a bake sale and
personally delivered an envelope full of cash. General manager Zaz Bajon
said that moment "touched me deeply," knowing how much these girls
appreciated the theatre's Aboriginal Arts Program.
Norman Rockwell, "The problem we live with" (WAG)
On the other hand, the Winnipeg Art Gallery
posted a surplus of $130,000 on its operating budget of $5.2 million. The wildly successful Norman Rockwell exhibit, its second most popular show ever, is largely responsible.
Attendance is also up at the Children's Museum
. More than 170,000 people visited the museum last year, a significant increase over previous years. The museum reported a surplus of $18,300 on an annual operating budget of $1,287,650. The Museum completely renovated its space in 2010-2011.
The Prairie Theatre Exchange
appears to be heading toward a small surplus. The company's AGM will not take place until October, but general manager Cherry Karpyshin says that subsciptions and single ticket sales were up modestly this season. "We feel fortunate we're in a very good place," she said.
The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
is forecasting a surplus for the fifth consecutive year (to be confirmed at the AGM on July 12). While single ticket sales came in $170,000 less than projected, subscription sales held steady for 2011/12 and are up for the coming year.
"Of course the Jets being here changes things," admitted executive director Trudy Schroeder. "So does the Human Rights museum and their efforts to raise funds. It's good that the Jets are here. We just all have to make adjustments to the way we sell, the way we organize, and we have to find new markets."
Schroeder also points out that the dilemma is that government grants are not going up while expenses are. The WSO has concentrated on individual and corporate donors and has done very well with its gala and other fundraising events.
The Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
is also projecting a modest surplus, for the 16th year in a row. Their subscriptions in the 2011/2012 season held their own while casual ticket sales increased.
The West End Cultural Centre
's year end is not until August 31, so it's too soon for specifics, but general manager Meg McGimpsey remains "cautiously optimistic."