Banff sacks 284 staff

Banff sacks 284 staff


norman lebrecht

June 12, 2020

Canada’s Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity has laid off 284 staff members, many of whom live in campus housing.

Just 123 staff members remain.



  • rustier spoon says:

    Since when has someone who has been “laid off” been “sacked”? A little disingenuous to the staff at Banff Centre I think. “Sacked” tends to be interpreted as being “dismissed for some misdemeanour”. Why does EVERYTHING have to be so negative…?

    • Music10 says:

      Cuz he’s english

    • Anon says:

      Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked, have been sacked.

    • Donald Hansen says:

      “Sacked”is a traditional British English word, while the traditional American English word is “fired.” Both mean the same. When Sir Adrian Boult was let go by the BBC he told the Queen that he had been sacked.

    • Lausitzer says:

      Because it in fact is so negative? They simply are no “staff at Banff Centre” anymore. In the words of the referenced CBC report: “Banff Centre permanently lays off 284 staff, […] some of whom had worked there for decades and lived in campus housing.”

      What are the prospects of these 284 people, not only regarding new work but in some cases even a new home? Would it help them in any way to gloss over such a dire situation?

    • David Rohde says:

      I realize that people are sympathetic to your comment, but to me “sacked” is acceptable headline-ese for this kind of situation. Both the Banff Centre and the CBC seem to have been playing around with the idea of “layoff” and whether it’s “temporary” or “permanent” in this vs. the earlier story in March, and I think THAT could be confusing, at least to my American ears. In this case, the employees are “permanently” laid off and thus they’re gone, sacked, fired. You could even argue that using plain language helps illustrate the serious and long-term impact of the pandemic. As for whether the language implies malfeasance, well, I doubt that people would believe that all 284 employees somehow managed to get together on an embezzlement scheme without it leaking out to management.

      What I haven’t liked is when this website uses this kind of language for a furlough, such as at the Kennedy Center. I thought the language protests on that one were valid. Of course it remains to be seen how that one really shakes out in the end, as in so many other situations involving performing arts institutions.

  • Denis Kazin says:

    A Tribute to Tom and Isobel Rolston | “A Very Quiet Revolution” | #BanffCentreMusic

    Banff Centre has been training artists since 1933 in the Canadian Rockies. Music has been offered since 1936, when courses in musical composition, interpretation and performance were added to the community theatre training programs.

    Banff Centre’s music training evolved in the 1960s when Thomas Rolston began teaching the Suzuki method to students. Within five years Rolston was appointed head of music at Banff Centre; he introduced brass and woodwind classes to the summer programs. Together, Thomas Rolston and pianist and music educator Isobel Moore Rolston had a massive influence on music programming and performances at Banff Centre.

    2004: Tom and Isobel Rolston retire from full-time activity after nearly 40 years at Banff Centre. The music program they helped build had become recognized around the world as a unique learning environment where musicians could expand their artistic insights through interaction with distinguished visiting artists and with each other.

    Over the decades Banff Centre became a leading force in the education of classical musicians from across Canada and around the world through its innovative and intensive programs.

  • Yossel says:

    Perhaps this is a naive question, but with a population of roughly 7,800, why would Banff require a staff or 407 for its arts centre?

    • V.Lind says:

      What does the size of the town have to do with the needs of the institution? The Banff Centre is a massive, multi-disciplinary organisation dealing in all performing arts, visual arts, literature, indigenous arts, and other things including leadership. As well as containing residences, a museum, various galleries, a library, artists’ studios and performing venues, it has several radio stations and holds hundreds of conferences every year. Among many other things it does, from artists and writers in residence to administering grants and scholarships, etc. It is educationally-drive, being associated with the University of Calgary.

      How can it possibly matter whether it is located in a small town or a big city? its staff needs were dictated by the scope and variety of its offerings, as well as the needs of maintaining such a facility.

  • Mike says:

    Hey, Rusty, disingenuous is such a negative word. Don’t even get me started on ALL CAPS. Why not just fart directly into our mouths?