Community band looks for funds

The Vernon Community Band asked city council Tuesday to assist with rising costs.

A musical group hopes to hit the right note with Vernon politicians.

The Vernon Community Band asked city council Tuesday to assist with rising costs.

“Our band is at a crossroads of whether we can continue or not,” said member Bjorn Edblad.

“Does the city and council see value in having a community band?”

The challenge is the band uses space at Vernon Secondary School and the Vernon School District has increased rent to $30 an hour.

The band’s annual budget is about $10,000 a year, including conductor fees, music scores, insurance and the rent, which has climbed 150 per cent this year.

“We’re looking for some help, some ideas, some money,” Edblad told council.

There are about 30 members in the band.

“We collect money from ourselves so we can play for free for the community,” said Edblad.

The 20-year-old band performs at Remembrance Day ceremonies, Vernon Jubilee Hospital Auxiliary fundraisers, Walk to Work Week events, concerts in the park and school concerts at VSS.

“We try to help and mentor the students,” said Edblad of the relationship with VSS.

Edblad says the band is proud of its community efforts but the city has turned down grant requests in 2014 and 2015.

“Are you in support of having a community band?”

City council made no decision on assistance, but suggestions were made about the band holding a fundraising concert or pursuing donors.

“We have a strong business community,” said Mayor Akbal Mund of corporate sponsors.

Edblad believes $2,000 would help the band cover the remainder of this year’s costs.

“We like to represent Vernon and all of the goodwill,” he said.