Sean Orr: On Discorder…

April 23, 2010.

April2010_coverI received an email the other day from a friend pleading for support to keep Discorder in print and free. “I’m looking for some input on what you guys think might improve Discorder, or what it provides (if anything?) to the music community”. Here is part of what I wrote to her in response:

In a city that has the most visible media concentration in the world (with the Canwest Empire and Bell Globe Canada sharing the spoils of lax CRTC laws), any and all independent media have struggled to survive in a city with an active outdoors population, a large English as a Second Language percentage, free commuter papers to a very large suburban readership, the age of the internet etc; it is as important now as ever to preserve the print medium as a vital way to communicate with a very select demographic. As a student at UBC, Discorder provided me with a creative outlet while I pursued strictly academic studies – only to abandon those to return to writing later in life. Furthermore, as a musician I found it an excellent resource, and always enjoyed the high level of writing.

Discorder is one of those secret treasures of Vancouver that we need to support. We may not have the cultural base to sustain it on any real economic level; it may look bad in the books; but surely since the Arts are under attack from government budgets and corporate boardrooms, it’s important to invest and pool our resources when assets like it are threatened. Just look at the CBC as an example, or even the much beleaguered CanCon system. Discorder in part defines who a lot of us are, and as a young and transient population we need it to continue (albeit in a way that might have to explore alternative measures in order to survive). I have no idea what this might look like, but surely there are ways…

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