Personal reply to the Canada Council questionnaire
The CEC Role
* Has the primary means of communication - newsletters/meetings/e-mail - shifted in the past few years for this organization?
* How and why?
In the past 10 years, with the exception of CD production, the move went from paper based communications and face to face meetings to digital communications and virtual meetings, for reasons of cost and efficiency in the face of the total withdrawal of operating funding.
*How has a shift been impacted by subsidy or lack of subsidy?*
A lack of subsidy collapsed most of the CEC's existing infrastructure for 'traditional' communications. Alternatives had to be sought for the organization to survive. New allegiances were created to off-load expensive elements like an office, telephone, fax, email, web server, storage, etc. Individuals, including the CEC's Board, had to devote more unpaid time to the organization, at the cost of potential burnout. Items like translation were dependent upon the generous donation of time and energy. Production agendas required extra time as volunteers were required to 'make a living' elsewhere, so projects became dependent upon people's freeing up of time. In many cases, such as translation, people just could not aid any more, and young people eager to enter the volunteer group had to be trained extensively to come up to speed with the complex vocabulary of electroacoustics.
*Are any publications getting beyond the membership to a national or international profile?
In 1986, when the CEC first started, paper newsletters were necessary to survey the community and to bring together the many different people who were isolated within the community and isolated within their geographic region. The newsletters were also sent to non-affiliated individuals and organizations inside and outside of Canada, in an effort to create connections and bring the larger picture to the greater community.
By 1994, email lists and the web started being developed. Both of these came upon the CEC as a faster way of communicating, a superior way of discussing ea, a permanent and immediate resource to point towards to aid new members of the community orient themselves, and a cost efficient way to do business and carry out research.
When the Canada Council cut the already small operating grant to the CEC, the CEC Board was required to make the transition to virtual media, as there were no funds to support paper-based communications.
Before the CD, it was more than difficult to send good quality tape recordings to many different recipients. With the advent of CD, getting one's music 'out there' became less difficult for those able to afford the time, money, and energy to make a personal CD available to the general public.
The CEC's CD publications, (DISContact! 6.2, DISContact! II, PRESENCE, PRESENCE II, Cache 2000) have been sent out globally, and are available from two highly respected ea distributors, DIFFUSION i Media and the Electronic Music Foundation's CDe Music.
eContact! and WEBradio
The CEC's two web based sound magazines allow people to hear the pieces while reading about them. This is new for the new music community.
* How does the CEC define itself? Do they consider themselves arts service organization? If so, why? If not, why not and what do they consider themselves instead?
Many of the functions of the CEC are indeed ASO material, but the CEC is more than an ASO. Firstly because the CEC operates for the benefit of the whole community and not just paying members, its mandate is greater than an ASO. The CEC is also a production house in that it gets production and dissemination projects finished and sent to the world. The CEC is attempting to put Canadian electroacoustics into an international context by creating the context itself and by driving the larger world community to follow in its path.
* How do they measure or evaluate their services to the community?
By the continual success of the projects.
1- More than 40 individuals participated in the official jury for Times Play 2000, which rendered results for the CD Cache 2000. The 2001 version of this project has more people participating in the jury, and many people extremely happy to be asked a second time to aid. This project brings together many many people who are usually isolated by geography into a project which has at its roots (the support and promotion of the next generation of ea composers) a truly worthwhile undertaking and spreads a feeling of value and necessity to people in the community. 2- by the tremendous support the CEC receives from the community when the CEC asks members to speak up. When the CEC was preparing its millennium fund grant proposal, many very well respected and highly acclaimed composers spoke up and wrote letters of support which many times went well beyond usual support letters (in many cases people expressed outrage that the CEC isn't supported enough in the first place). 3- by the international recognition coming from sister organizations. The CEC's website features many parallel organizations (USA, UK, Australia...) and the listserver, run on behalf of the CEC, has more than 400 readers, including very significant names in the world community.
* Do they review or update their mandate?*
The CEC mandate covers its behavior, and review is made each year, with each new project, with each new twist in the movement of the community.
*Do the three national new music organizations communicate with other service organizations? Share initiatives?
The CEC operates a listserver called CECPANEL, which has representatives from the CLC, the ACWC and the CMC. The CEC also participates in the ISCM world new music days Canadian section jury. The CEC has recently been in conversation with the League to try to force the CBC to release old recordings released on RCI for free (rather than charging $1/cd).
*Have representatives at conferences together?
Conferences? Who has the money to host a conference?
* What percentage of overlap exists between the CEC and other composer organizations?
I have no idea. Look at the Webster, as the list of CEC members is there. I bet there is little overlap actually, as the League and the CMC are not open organizations.
* What are the tangible benefits to the el/cm constituents that they serve? What are the benefits to the new music community as a whole?
The CEC serves the whole ea community, not just the paying members, and not necessarily just in Canada. In the English speaking world, there is no other resource quite like the CEC. In the French speaking world, there are very small adventures which might be similar, but are hardly as large in scope.
* Who are the practitioners of el/cm and other electronic musics not served by the CEC? How would being served benefit the community?
Service over the past few years to everyone in the community has been difficult as the CEC has had no serious funding and has had to select one area to aid at a time. No one has been missed in the process, as long as a 5 year field of vision is taken. If the CEC had funding, then different areas would receive equal profile under shorter time frames.
* Membership - how do they define their field and membership with regard to: improvisation; performers; producers; new practices - technological, social or cultural; gender; generation - i.e. young practitioners; technology
All of the above and more. Membership aids the CEC to continue what it does. It does not _buy_ service. I wish the CC would learn this as this question is SOOOOOOO 80s.
* How do the CEC recruit or promote their membership?
The CEC promotes electroacoustics. Not its membership. The CEC does not recruit, but rather asks people to support the many initiatives.
* Are there other issues of a national or regional importance that impact 'servicing' the electroacoustic community? Language? Gender? Cultural diversity? Regionality? Representation? Inclusivity/Exclusivity?Issues
Yes. The Council needs to realize that electroacoustics is broader than this question, and that the CEC is dealing with the issues correctly.
* Are there models of other service organizations for electroacoustic music outside Canada? How are these organizations similar - or not - for this artform with regard to both structure and mandate?
In terms of national arts organizations which promote electroacoustics, there are only two such organizations that I can think of: The Sonic Arts Network (SAN) in the UK, and they receive more than $200 000.00 in funding from the Arts Council in the UK, and the Society for ElectroAcoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), and they have over 400 members (due to the USA having 10 times the number of inhabitants).
* Indicate initiatives or issues put forth by the CEC or members of the el/cm community in recent years (failed or successful) that may were impacted by funding to service organizations
Contact! 8.1 - 8.2 had funding so it was a success, DISContact! II had funding from the Ontario Arts council and is a success, WEBradio had a little funding from the Council Music section and was and is a success, eContact! 1.1-3.4 are successes, and were funded with very small grants from Publishing at the Council, and Cache 2000, with small funding from the SOCAN Foundation.
The mandate of each of these projects were different, but covered aesthetic, gender, technological, and generational issues which were put forth by both members and the CEC Board.
* What are the most important issues in the community currently being addressed by the CEC?
Survival, burn out, and funding. If the CEC had funding, then more members in the community would be able to pool resources and share in community enterprises which benefit everyone.
* What are the most important issues in the community that are not being addressed by the CEC?
The CEC has failed to convince the Canada Council Music and Media Arts Sections that it is worthy of being funded. Without the patronage of the Publishing section, the CEC would have had an extremely difficult time in surviving these past few years.
* Indicate other issues impacting the level of service provided and indicate what resources - i.e. time, expertise, maintenance - would be needed* Indicate specific changes or trends - if any - seen in recent years of activity within the CEC including: Real - resources, funding, funding cuts, new granting programs, changing technology; Implicit - new ways of thinking, new initiatives from the community, new energy/players, burnout/reluctance*
*Can the CEC 'service' an art form that continues to evolve and diversify toward being inclusionary of more media and technological-based practices?--
Yes. It is the only organization with the breadth, experience and vision to be able to do all of this.