'Terrible loss': Flooding destroys thousands of music archives
CTV News Vancouver
Published Saturday, July 6, 2019 1:01PM PDT
Staff with the Vancouver Chamber Choir has spent more than a week trying to salvage and recover rare music scores and archives after the building that housed them flooded.
On June 28, staff arrived to find a pool of water at the vestibule outside its administration office.
"It was an awful mess," said Karen Seaboyer, manager of communications with the choir. "Water was chest high. It was over four feet high and everything was submerged except for the top shelves of our big units."
The Vancouver Chamber Choir was formed in 1971 and has called the Hodson Manor home since 1982.
Seaboyer said the flooding destroyed countless pieces of music and archives.
"Lots of paper files because we weren't digital in 1971," she said. "We had thousands and thousands of music scores here -- many of them are irreplaceable. They have come from Canadian composers who have not had them published; these were original manuscripts and these are our greatest loss at this point."
The Hodson Manor is a city-owned heritage building, which was originally built in 1894.
The Vancouver Choir Chamber was told by the city that the flooding was caused by a fire main break. The pipe supplies water to the building's sprinkler system.
The staff has spent the past several days removing items from the basement.
"We are hoping that some things can be salvaged, even in some form. But this is a terrible loss to us," Seaboyer said.
She said after the clean up is complete, the building will be assessed and they will work with their insurance company.
She thanks those in the arts and music communities for their "outpouring of support," which has given them strength during this challenging time.