A decade of denying

Carla Allen
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Sandy Fevens wants to know what she’s doing wrong. Th’YARC’s  executive director says that although 40 per cent of Th’YARC’s patrons reside in the Municipality of Yarmouth, the municipal council has never provided any funds to help support the facility, despite annual applications for funding.

Executive director Sandy Fevens scolded the Municipality of Yarmouth council last Wednesday for its continuing refusal to provide funding to Th’YARC over the past 10 years.

The Town of Yarmouth has assisted, sometimes giving as much as $16,000 in one year. The Municipality of Argyle has also contributed thousands.

“I’ve been here since 2002 and every year I’ve made application for support and we have been refused every time,” Fevens told the municipal council on Jan. 10.

“I never receive a reason, just a letter saying sorry, not this time. I need to know what I’m doing wrong; why we’re not supported by the Municipality of Yarmouth.”

Fevens says Th’YARC has 600 members and hundreds of volunteers. It has two full- time employees and has been open for 34 years.

 “We’re based on volunteers and if we don’t have financial support we can’t keep our doors open.”

She added that Th’YARC has to struggle to raise funds to operate. To make ends meet, she added, the organization needs the support of the three municipalities and the provincial government.

She pointed out that the municipality has provided funds to the Yarmouth YMCA for operational expenses in the past and said she understands sports are important but that they’re not for everyone.

“People are involved in the arts.”

Several councillors heaped praise upon Th’YARC for productions they’d attended in the past.

Deputy warden Stephen Paquette told Fevens Th’YARC is a community asset that “we are all proud of.”

“The key phrase with our grants is to provide ‘meaningful support services.’

“Personally I can see entertainment as being meaningful for sure. I don’t know that I would put it up against physical activity that has so many health-promoting benefits,” he said.

Fevens was quick to respond.

“I believe expanding your mind in the arts and culture is just as important health-wise as physical activity,” she said.

She was told her 2013 request would be reviewed at budget time.


Geographic location: Yarmouth

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Recent comments

  • Brenda O'Connell
    January 15, 2013 - 09:32

    I cannot believe that Steven Paquette would even think this let alone put it in words.“Personally I can see entertainment as being meaningful for sure. I don’t know that I would put it up against physical activity that has so many health-promoting benefits,” The theatre in all shapes and form is food for the soul. To complete a person you have to have your mind and body in shape. People go to the theatre to relax and have enjoyment. My 2 youngest grandchildren are very athletic and are members of the white cap swimteam at the YMCA. They are also with their parents members of Th'Yarc. And enjoy so much seeing the entertainment. And being part of the summer workshop. I certainly hope that this year Municipality of Yarmouth will help Th'Yarc this year with some funding

  • David Olie
    January 14, 2013 - 21:54

    As Ms. Fevens' predecessor as GM of Th'YARC, I would like to add my full support for her stance. In my seven years as GM we were consistently turned down for funding by the Municipality, in spite of the fact that audience surveys showed that 38% to 40% of the users of Th'YARC were residents of the Municipality, a larger percentage than from the Town or from the Municipality of Argyle. I couldn't say it then, but I can say it now: This is freeloading. This is taking without giving. If Th'YARC was located outside the Town limits, and the Town refused financial support, the Municipal councilors and ratepayers would be having fits. At a time when we need every possible attraction, every possible means to bring visitors to Yarmouth County, the failure of the Municipality to pony up and support Th'YARC is a gross disservice to our community. Shame!

  • Ann Louise Doucet
    January 14, 2013 - 20:48

    The Y'ARC provides many opportunities for group activities for our youth as well as adults of the community. Not all people are athletic and being involved in productions at the Y'ARC provides people, especially our younger generations, to learn about respect for others, cooperating and sharing thoughts and ideas and working together towards a common goal. Anyone who has been involved with any of the Y'ARC productions know that this is a much needed asset for Yarmouth and the Municipality needs to get on board to support this organization. Just the fact that they have not provided financial assistance in the past to such a valuable asset to the community is reason enough for them to provide that assistance now. It isn't right that the same organizations get funding year after year - every group should get help at some time along the way if they are contributing to their community in a positive manner.

  • Michelle Doucette-Wallace
    January 14, 2013 - 12:59

    I believe that every organization deserves to have some sort of feedback on their applications for funding. I am sure there are many applications that go unselected for funding each year, however the distribution, like our community should be varied and diverse. There are many people in our community that value the arts at th'YARC as it is an important piece of culture and education.

  • Mary
    January 14, 2013 - 12:49

    The Y'ARC not only provides entertainment but helps aid in mental health. Relaxing, learning, social, and creativity are just some of the important aspects of a part of contributing to the mental health of those in the community. The Y'ARC is an important part of Yarmouth and the surrounding areas and I hope that the Municipality will recognize it's contribution by supporting it.

  • Michelle Doucette-Wallace
    January 14, 2013 - 12:41

    I believe that every organization deserves to know why they were not selected. I am sure there are many applications for funding each year that go unselected however, the opportunity to receive funding should be an equal opportunity for any organization and the distribution should be as varied as the culture of our town; which has a lot of people who are dedicated to the arts and th' YARC

    • Robert Maillet
      January 14, 2013 - 22:47

      Agree with ms Fevens' comments. The Mun. of Yarmouth should re-consider it's position on this issue. They should at least match the Mun. of Argyle's contribution.