For the primary time in its 30 yr historical past, 100 % of the venues for the Halifax Jazz Pageant are out there thank you partly to the steering of a neighborhood activist.
Former skilled bass participant, Paul Vienneau, was once first presented to the pageant as a performer in 1988. It wasn’t till a bicycling coincidence years later that he realised there was once an issue with the best way many live performance venues had been running.
“The way in which jazz gala’s have long gone within the remaining bunch of years, there’s much less form of take a seat down, formal jazz and its extra like Dr. John the place other folks stand up and dance,” mentioned Vienneau.
“You get a large number of other folks dancing round there in an in depth house. Put a wheelchair in there, it may be unhealthy however its additionally roughly horrifying to get bumped round.”
He started contacting the pageant about making adjustments to their venue, in particular degree get right of entry to, in 2001. He mentioned it took seven years to listen to again, or even then the answer was once to put in a “very” steep ramp, one who took 3 males to get him on degree.
It wasn’t till a couple of months in the past when he were given involved with Andrea Dawson Thomas, the brand new government director of the Halifax Jazz Pageant, that issues started to occur.
“I went to them and requested would you be occupied with making the Jazz Pageant an out there pageant for the primary time and so they had been proper from the beginning,” mentioned Vienneau.
In session with Vienneau, pageant organisers started devising a plan to redesign the primary waterfront venue that incorporated a brand new out there viewing platform, wheelchair-friendly cable covers and out there portalets, in conjunction with a incapacity products and services sales space to lend a hand concert-goers requiring a little bit additional assist.
Danny Thomas, technical director for the Halifax Jazz Pageant technical director mentioned he’s labored with many different gala’s and live shows in Ontario the place out there venues are already the norm. He mentioned he was once more than pleased to deliver that stage of accessibility to Halifax.
“We known as Paul and requested him to talk over with us on issues lets do to principally make the web site extra out there and prioritise a few of it as smartly,” mentioned Thomas, including that creating a venue out there can oftentimes price so much not up to organisers would possibly assume.
“Numerous those that do have accessibility problems, they may be able to’t move to the whole lot and they may be able to’t get out that regularly. So in an effort to be offering them this… I imply, song is treatment,” he mentioned.
“[For people] in an effort to come and do that and notice it and now not be limited whatsoever and be in an excessively comfy atmosphere, it simply is in reality vital to us.”
Vienneau mentioned doing this sort of activist paintings isn’t a egocentric endeavour, however fairly one thing he hopes will get advantages generations of song fanatics to come back.
“In 20 years other folks aren’t even going to bear in mind my identify however they’re going in an effort to take without any consideration the entire issues that everybody else will get to make the most of,” he mentioned.
“For the primary time in my existence I think like I’m in reality doing paintings that in reality approach one thing.”
He mentioned there’s nonetheless extra paintings to be carried out, including that subsequent yr he hopes the pageant will paintings to protected a partnership to have American Signal Language interpreters for all venues.
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