In the physical sense… “The voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need.”
In a thoughtful sense… “Kindness and tolerance in judging others.”
There’s a ‘charitable’ campaign going on at this time, using FB via its Montreal Tango event page, to raise some money for a tango entrepreneur who lost a gamble on an event she organized. The organizer was Mylène Pelletier using her enterprise Air de Tango. Her event was “Montreal Loves Tango“. This is the second year she ran this event. Apparently she lost money in 2015 too.
I first became involved organizing tango evenings and events in Montreal in 1991. I have never witnessed such a ‘charitable’ scheme before. No one ever suggested to me (Graffiti Tango) that when I lost money on an event, that we should go to the “community” and ask for charitable support to relieve my financial suffering. No one ever did it for other significant organizers over the years either; here I’m remembering serious, continuous investors in the community: La Tangueria and Tango Libre. Has Studio Tango ever suffered a financial loss? You can count on it. Has Carol ever asked for charity? You tell me.
To date (and to my knowledge) no organizer/entrepreneur in the past has ever asked for ‘charity’ after a financial loss of an event. Nor has any individual ever come forward, as did Robert Blais on Mylène’s behalf, in order to ask for charity from the community. It’s a unique situation.
If you want to be charitable to Mylène in the physical sense, then by all means, feel free to open your wallet and give whatever you feel she deserves. If you want to be charitable in a thoughtful sense, maybe you’ll be kind enough to advise her not to try this event a third time. That would be charitable. (Let’s not forget that Mylène tried two years of ‘tango competitions’… to not much avail. At least she may be prone to leave things at two strikes.)
But hey! Weren’t Bernard Caron and Gabriel Gaumond co-organizers of this event with Mylène? If so, and if we are charitable to Mylène, are we also (by default) being charitable to those two guys? Is that why Bernard is partially leading this charity campaign??! Or were those two boys smart enough to finagle the entire onus of financial responsibility onto a mother of two children?!! …I’m just asking.
Many of the comments on the FB ‘charity’ post came from women. These women, that continue to participate in the tango scene, made mention of a plethora of other women who are now gone from the scene, and as such, voiceless in this discussion/situation. However, the remaining women brought some of their former colleagues perceptions to the discussion on FB. Essentially, many women felt that they had already invested in Mylène: her studio classes, her dance evenings/events and her tango accessories. To be sure, these women also recognized that they were investing in their own recreational pursuit. It didn’t pay off for them. They left. A huge discussion on this FB post remains as to how to get them back. Good luck. The women (in particular) that choose tango as a recreational activity are generally very intelligent and multi-talented. Very likely they easily saw how Air de Tango was being directed, by a woman. I would wager that the women lost in the fray of studio/enterprise mis-direction won’t be enticed back.
As to the other posts, postulating about an “association”, overseeing… what??! Good gawd! Save your breath and keyboard strokes; it’s absolute nonsense. Elsewhere on this blog I make reference to “the community of the hamburger”. Think about it, please. The hamburger is a culinary cultural entity in the same manner that the tango is a recreational cultural entity. Imagine an association dedicated to the refinement of the perfect “community” ‘Montreal Burger’; an association that brings all the burger entrepreneurs together to produce an acceptable burger that is worthy to be designated quintessential ‘Montreal’. Fuck. Are you freaking kidding?!?!! For those of you that don’t know, this ‘community tango/burger’ discussion/comparison dates back to 1993. Stop it; fer rice cakes!!! (I know you all mean well by your thoughtful, respectful, generous comments on FB; and thank you for that.) (You see? I can be kind and charitable in a thoughtful sense too – LMFAO ;-)
I have been charitable to Mylène in the past. In the physical sense, I could calculate the financial value of the 2.5 years of time that I put into her development (free-of-charge) as a social tango dancer, a performance tango dancer, a teacher of tango, and an organizer of dance hall evenings. This value would far exceed the total expenses columns (only) for both of her “Montreal Loves Tango” events, combined. So I’m good with my donation to her in that charitable sense.
I have been charitable to her in a thoughtful sense sense too. FYI (and as only one example) I wrote a stellar letter of recommendation to a professional dance colleague who was (at the time) the Director of the Concordia University dance program, in order for her to enter into a university Masters dance program. Beyond that, I was charitably tolerant of her public disrespect of my contributions to her development in dance, for about fifteen years. So I’m good in the tolerance calculation too.
Has Mylène been charitable, kind, grateful and gracious in acknowledging me as a dance professional and my charitable contributions to her ‘career’ in tango? You decide.
Is Mylène a charitable person in general, worthy of specific financial charity in return for her entrepreneurial miscalculations? You decide.