Very odd occurance

A few weeks ago I received a letter from the Canada Council denying my project funding – it didn’t meet the criteria and competition is very stiff for these things. It was also a few weeks ago that I sent out a number of letters with my story attached in hopes of raising awareness for the abuse that continued in private schools after the residential schools had closed. No one has really discussed where the abusers in the residential schools went. They were shuffled around North America to wreak havoc on more innocent children such as myself. Anyway, I received a very disturbing phone call last week from a blocked number. The person on the other end was an irate male claiming to be a representative of the Canada Council. He refused to give me his name but was very forthcoming with insults to me about my writing. He called me a pornographer – and that my writing was pornographic and that I should not be allowed access to any kind of money for what it is. He was insulted by my “rape fantasy” as he called it. It really made me sick inside and he was quick to hang up – hiding behind his anonymity.

I am prepared for this – I know there may be others who are too cowardly to discuss their concerns openly and without the protection of being anonymous. I really hope he was not a member of the Canada Council – and because he called from a blocked number and refused to give me his name, I am pretty sure it was not legitimately from them. It would be wrong for me to say I am not frightened by it – that call scared me. But it also demonstrates how afraid people are to come forward, or to hear about the effects of the abuse on victims. I am by no means a “pornographer” – my ambition is to protect children and to help through my story. I have to deal with what happened to me every day. My writing is graphic and perhaps shocking. It is time for people to take their blinders off and listen to those who have been abused. The world may be a better place for it.

I know that I will likely never apply to the Canada Council again. Their letter of rejection hurt me. If I am to raise funds for this, I will face the struggle alone – hopefully assistance will come bit by bit. The story is much too important to be shelved.

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4 thoughts on “Very odd occurance

  1. Hi Nicholas,

    We`re glad you had a chance to connect with our program officer Lise Ann yesterday. Thank you again for alerting us to the situation. We have looked into the issue and strongly believe that the person who contacted you is in no way connected to the Canada Council. We were upset to learn that someone falsely representing Council has harassed you. As Canada’s national, arm’s-length funding agency, we support, value and promote the arts in Canada. Freedom of artistic expression is one of our fundamental values and we pride ourselves on the assistance we offer Canadian artists. We wish you all the best with this project. While we are unfortunately only able to support a minority of well assessed applications, we encourage you to continue to apply to our programs. Know that we’re here and happy to assist as we can should you have any questions about resubmitting an application to Council in the future.

    Kind regards,
    Gen Vallerand

    1. Yes, it was great discussing this with the Council. I am very impressed with the professionalism and the way in which you responded to this. It is a relief to know for certain that the call was not originated from anyone connected with the Canada Council for the Arts.

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