VSO suspends pianist under investigation by police for allegedly hosting 'unlawful' gathering
VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music has suspended pianist and faculty member John Stetch from accessing school facilities after video surfaced of what appeared to be a social gathering that violates B.C. public health orders.
In the video, which lasts over an hour, and appears to have been live-streamed and recorded Saturday night, Stetch and a dozen other people eat, drink, and socialize.
There is no hint of physical distancing or masks, although at one point the person behind the camera asks Stetch if he has a face mask that matches his shimmering “astronaut pants.”
Stetch responds, “Oh yeah, somewhere, yeah,” before erupting in laughter.
Const. Tania Visintin of the Vancouver Police Department told CTV News the force is “investigating allegations of an unlawful gathering in a building near St. Paul's Hospital” on Saturday.
The VSO’s VP of marketing and sales, Neil Middleton, also said the organization was “investigating the allegations.”
CTV News reached out to Stetch via an email address listed on his personal web page, and via his Facebook page, but has not received a response.
It’s unclear when Stetch, a seven-time Juno Award nominee, was last in close contact with any students.
The gathering included a piano serenade, but also chatter surrounding the Flat Earth conspiracy theory, with Stetch showing off his “flat earth map.”
It also included verbal threats made on video and directed against B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“She can go bleep herself,” Stetch said, using the word “bleep” rather than an expletive.
Under a provincial public health order on gatherings and events, those attending a social gathering with people not from their own household, with limited exceptions, could each be subject to a $230 fine.
Organizers or hosts face fines of up to $2,300.