Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green is criticizing the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre after the organization postponed a fundraising concert for victims of the Rockhill Apartments fire.
The concert was supposed to take place Dec. 4 but NACC has cancelled that event, announcing Wednesday that it will now take place sometime next spring.
“I am disappointed that NACC has decided to postpone this benefit concert because the YWCA has ‘to get its finances in order,'” Green wrote on her MLA Facebook page.
“This concert was supposed to benefit the families affected by the fire, not the day to day operations of the YWCA. I attended the last YWCA AGM. This is a multi-million dollar non-profit that had a small surplus in the last fiscal year according to a clean audit. The YWCA follows (Canada Revenue Agency) and Canada Helps rules for dispersing donations. In its 52 year history, it has dispersed millions of dollars of donations without a problem. What does NACC know about the YWCA?”
It was unclear at press time what financial issues Green was referring to but YWCA has faced controversy in recent days after some former Rockhill tenants complained they were still awaiting for donations it was collecting to be dispersed.
The Raise the Roof Rockhill Fire Benefit Concert for Dec. 4 was scheduled to feature musical performers Welder’s Daughter, Priscilla’s Revenge, Ceilidh Friends, Natasha Duchene, Thelma Cheechoo, and Maggie Mecredi.
Marie Coderre, executive and artistic director with NACC called the issue “borderline, very much fake news” and said the postponement was due to poor ticket sales.
“With only one week to the show and with eight tickets sold, there is no way,” said Coderre, adding that there are up to 25 volunteers and companies like Pido Productions or Flavour Trader who were looking to contribute time and effort for the show. “It is a lot of people involved for eight people.”
Coderre said with about 300 tickets to sell, she would have been less than comfortable with proceeding with the show if she wasn’t close to sold-out by this point. From her point of view, there has been no change in her partnership with YWCA and is looking forward to working with them in the new year.
“I am going to look at the calendar wisely and see over Christmas when we can hold it,” she said, estimating that April may be most appropriate.
Green was not available for comment at press time.