Canmore Arts Education Burns While Banff-Cochrane MLA Ron Casey Fiddles…in a FABULOUS matching purple shirt and tie.

Lord of the Dance….or a Modern-Day Nero?

72 hours ago if you told me that my head would explode with the complexities of individual school budgets, school board politics, town and provincial politics, I would have told you….”Nawww…I don’t have time for that. I’m busy cleaning up from a weekend of camping, doing the laundry, canning, planning a residency, a studio tour, public exhibition and getting my kids ready for school.” (Not what I would call fiddling.)

“Why You Can’t Get An Arts Education In Canmore” tells the story of the beginning of this dive into the muck and mess that is our current educational system. My diagnosis at this point? It’s broken. There are some short-term solutions. I have offered to go in and assist with teaching drama and art at the school for those that want it, although I’m very concerned that at this late stage in the game, that’s not going to be the game-changer here. Students are getting comfy with their schedules, social issues and highschool is pressure enough as many of us can attest. Still, I’m willing to do what I can.

These key issues still remain for me:

  • The importance of an arts education, accessible by all in order to create well-rounded, creative thinkers that can tackle the complex issues of the future and provide innovative solutions.
  • Creative Solutions!…. if we can get past making decisions at all levels based on the “rules” and start basing them on the values we hold.

Even though the system is broken, we can fix it.

WE. Not partisan party politics, not individuals. WE. It’s complex, but understandable and when things are at their most “broken”, it offers opportunity to really get in there, get rid of what’s causing the problem(s), innovate and create something new. In order to do this, we need everyone at the table, with a willing attitude, throwing out the excuses, cynicism and rhetoric, and believing it can be done – on any subject or problem that is important to us.

I’ve had a very willing contribution to understand the issues and present the facts – from some trustees, school council, community members, administrators, stakeholders, town council members and media. I’m downright inspired in many cases by the marked determination and passion of these folks. I have also felt cynicism, burnout and apathy from some. I’ve even heard from some Minister’s offices  – that they’ve forwarded my concerns onward up the ladder. Great! Thank you! I FEEL like someone is listening. Let’s get on this! Past experience tells me I’ll get a stock  answer in about 30 days, by mail, and according to party policy. (Oops…my cynicism is showing.)

I haven’t, however….heard a thing from the former Mayor of Canmore and new MLA in Banff/Cochrane which does surprise me, since he touts that he’s such a big supporter of the arts.

I did hear, though….that he was ever so busy attending a soiree at a local gallery to fete the Minister of Culture  and the AFA (Alberta Federation of the Arts) Board. Don’t even get me started on that one.

Yes, that's how I like to see my tax dollars spent! CELEBRATING!!! WOO on!!!!
Yes, that’s how I like to see my tax dollars spent! CELEBRATING!!! WOO HOO….party on!!!!

I know we’re all busy, but isn’t it his JOB to respond to the concerns of his constituents? I’ve had other MLA’s and their offices from OTHER ridings across Alberta call me to express concern and enquire….but I think the Ronster is busy. Not even a PEEP or a TWEET from a constituency  assistant or from His Worship. Doesn’t he look smashing and dapper in this Don Cherry lookalike purple tie and suit? Kudos. That’s ARTSY.

He’s partying with the artists and tasting food today.
That’s okay…I’m not going away. I want to see this FIXED.

Ron Casey Cooks Up A Rabbit Stew
I wonder if it’s rabbit stew in that slow-cooker?

September 7th: 12:26 pm UPDATE

Good news! Just received an email from Lesley Bannister. I love it when folks start to work….Perhaps proof positive that blogging and social media are the fastest way to effect change? Blogpost was originally published at 10:11 am…some action within two hours, 7 minutes and 5 seconds. Of course, the first letter was sent days ago. Just throwing it out there. I’m hopeful, if folks can come to the table.

From: Banff Cochrane <>

Subject: RE: Education Access – Canmore Collegiate

Date: 7 September, 2012 12:18:05 PM MDT

To: Janice Tanton <>


Hi Janice,


Thank you for your comments regarding school fees and scheduling conflicts at Canmore Collegiate.   I will be discussing your issues further with Mr. Casey this afternoon in order to better direct your inquiries.


Thank you.

Lesley Bannister

Constituency Office Manager for

Ron Casey MLA Banff-Cochrane

Chair, Rural Caucus

ph.403.609.4509 fax.403.609.4513


Related Posts and Resources:

We Have All Pooped The Bed – Arts Education In Canmore – Why You Can’t Get One

Ron’s not taking my calls….but maybe he’s taking yours. Here’s how to contact him:

MLA – Ron Casey, Banff-Cochrane

Con­stituency Office

Unit 109, 1205 Bow Val­ley Trail
Can­more, AB
Canada T1W 1P5
Phone: (403) 609‑4509
Toll-Free: 1–866-760‑8281
Fax: (403) 609‑4513

Leg­is­la­ture Office

630 Leg­is­la­ture Annex
9718 107 Street
Edmon­ton, AB
Canada T5K 1E4
Phone: (780) 415‑8429
Fax: (780) 415‑0951


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.