Please Email Vancouver’s Mayor

November 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm (Arts, Culture, Life, Literature, Personal essays) (, , , , , , , )

Please Email Vancouver’s Mayor

This is a personal message to the readers of my blog.

I don’t usually like to talk about myself or engage in personal requests but as Churchill said, “Desperate times require desperate measures.”

Many of my readers have told me how much they enjoyed my writing and how my writing has impacted their lives.

If that’s true, I ask those readers to step up to the plate for me now.

The long and short of it is the past 5 years of my life have been a living Hell.

The last time I worked an actual job of any sort was 6 years ago.

I gave up work as my dad was dying of cancer.

He died of cancer 5 years ago.

I was then involved in a legal battle with my sister for a year over his Estate as his newest will wasn’t found (the gist of the battle was I wanted to continue to live in my dad’s house that I had lived in most of my life as I had looked after him since my mother died and my sister wanted the house to be sold and the proceeds from the sale split between me and her).

The end result was that an old will was found but in it he had left everything to my mother who had died 25 years ago.

So the Estate was split down the middle between his offspring- my sister and myself.

Under terms of the old will, my dad had also named my mother the Executor but of course since she was dead, the substitute Executor named in the will was brought in.

Sadly for me, the new Executor named was an incompetent and the lawyer he hired was likewise an incompetent.

It apparently took them 2 years before they had notified Revenue Canada that my father was dead and of course Revenue Canada must approve before Estate assets can be dispersed.

So these bozos had waited 2 years before telling Revenue Canada that my dad was dead.

Then Revenue Canada being the typical slowpoke bureaucrats that they are- it took them another 2 years to finally approve the dispersal of assets.

It was only in 2014 that my dad’s Estate funds were finally dispersed between my sister and me.

So in that time, my assets from past employment had been eaten away after paying for rent and food and I was struggling with both acute depression and most likely PTSD from the combination of grief over my dad’s death and then the shock of being forced to leave the only home I had ever known.

And thanks to the incompetent lawyer dragging out the matter of settling my dad’s Estate, that didn’t stop him from charging exorbitant legal fees as he did so.

So consequently the large sum of money I was expecting from the sale of my dad’s house didn’t materialize when the Estate was finally settled in 2014.

In the middle of this period of legal limbo I had moved to Vancouver in 2012 hoping to eventually take a course in Film Directing and Screenplay Writing at the Vancouver Film School which is considered one of the top film schools in North America.

But of course since the sum I received from my dad’s Estate wasn’t what I had expected, I couldn’t afford to take the course.

So in the meantime, I concentrated on my writing – my vampire novel, my poems and my short stories as I had promised my dad on his deathbed that I would not neglect my writing as he thought my writing was important to the world.

Six months ago, I realized that my dad’s funds were going to run out in six months’ time so I started diligently looking for a job sending out resumes all over the place.

I only received two inquiries back but they didn’t amount to anything.

I suppose the fact that I hadn’t worked in 6 years looked bad in the eyes of most potential employers.

They just looked at the paper in front of them.

They didn’t know the reason why I hadn’t worked in 6 years.

It wasn’t due to alcohol or drugs.

I don’t drink.

And I don’t take drugs.

I found myself in the situation I was in due to greedy siblings and incompetent Estate Executors and incompetent lawyers and the severe extreme depression that decapacitated me as a result of all this.

And now I won’t have enough money in my bank account to pay next month’s rent (I actually thought I was going to run out this month but it turns out I did have enough for this month but definitely not for next month).

So where does emailing Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson come in like I suggest in my title?

Because of Mayor Robertson’s support of the arts.

I first found out about Gregor Robertson when my dad and I visited Vancouver back in the summer of 2009 to attend an exhibit of Vermeer and The Dutch Masters at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

During that time, my dad and I took a bus tour of the city where it turned out that the tour guide was a personal friend of Mayor Robertson and had in fact urged him to run for his first term.

The guide mentioned that one of the things Mayor Robertson had done was to establish a program whereby the city paid the rent of certain artists (painters and sculptors) so they could dedicate themselves to working on their art and craft instead of worrying about picking up an odd job here and there to pay their rent.

Anyways last year before the last Vancouver municipal election, I was walking down Robson Street when I was stopped by a canvasser for Vision Vancouver (the municipal political party to which Mayor Gregor Robertson belongs).

He was asking for support so I happened to mention to him how I approved of Mayor Robertson’s idea about paying the rent for certain artists in his effort to build up the arts in Vancouver.

I asked the canvasser had Mayor Robertson ever considered establishing a program paying for the rent of writers as well.

The canvasser said that was an excellent idea and I saw him write it down on his survey sheet.

The canvasser also said he’d bring up the idea at a future Vision Vancouver meeting.

I don’t know whether he did or not.

Anyways Mayor Gregor Robertson did win re-election last year.

And six months ago when I realized I had only roughly six months until my dad’s Estate funds in my bank account started to run out and I started searching for a job, I also wrote an email to Mayor Gregor Robertson’s office mentioning my idea about the city paying the rent of certain aspiring writers in the city until such time as they landed on their feet.

A few weeks later I received an email back from them saying my proposal was under consideration and they’d get back to me.

I haven’t heard back from them since.

Anyways it’s now getting down to the crunch for me.

It appears that job prospects here in Vancouver are bleak as six months of looking for me and nary a call back.

I don’t have money to move back to the province of Alberta where I’m originally from although job prospects there probably aren’t so good now either due to the collapse of the oil industry.

So unless I land a job in the next couple of weeks or by some miracle some Hollywood producer wants to turn a written work of mine into a Hollywood blockbuster and pays me a big fee for getting the film rights to my work, I’ll probably be homeless sometime after the 1st of December after I’m evicted for failure to pay rent.

So to my loyal friends and readers who tell me how much they enjoy my writing and how it’s inspired them, I have a very simple request:

Please email Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson at his city hall email address:

gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca

If he’s bombarded with enough emails telling him to pay the rent of a promising, aspiring and talented writer, it may finally get beyond the level of low level staff and actually reach his desk.

In your email, pass on the link to my blog

https://draculvanhelsing.wordpress.com/

And tell him to read some samples of my writing.

Maybe he’ll act quickly and have the City of Vancouver pay my rent for awhile until such time as I become a successful writer who’s actually able to earn money off writing.

If I was just a second or third rate writer, I wouldn’t bother asking for this as there’s already enough bad writing in the world.

But so many people over the years have told me that I’m an excellent even a superior writer including a British literary agent by the name of Christopher Little.

Mr. Little was the only literary agent I heard back from when I submitted a private eye novel manuscript I had written a number of years ago to various literary agents in New York City and the United Kingdom.

He returned my first three chapters and my sypnosis from that novel but included a 5 page personally handwritten letter also personally signed by him.

In it, he said that he was very very very impressed with my writing.

He said that if he didn’t have so much on his plate at the moment, he would represent me in a heartbeat but he said alas! he did have too much on his plate.

He urged me to keep writing and was sure that my work would someday be published by one of the world’s big publishers.

Years later I read a newspaper article about J.K. Rowling and in the article, it quoted her literary agent.

I got the shock of my life when I read her literary agent’s name… Christopher Little.

He wasn’t kidding when he said he had too much on his plate.

I wish I had known where I kept that letter as soon as I read that article.

I wasn’t able to locate it prior to my sister’s lawyer throwing me out of my dad’s house.

So to my readers, I’d appreciate it if you’d email Mayor Gregor Robertson at gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca

and make the request about the City paying my rent until I get back on my feet.

I’d also appreciate it if some of my readers could reblog and repost this post to their own blog to let their own readers know.

Many many thanks,

Christopher

Post-Script:  I finally heard back from his office in February of this current year (2016).

Writers are included in the program but a vacancy won’t become available in it until September of 2017.

More than a year away.

So for the past few months, I’ve been using cash advances off my credit card to pay my rent.

Now I’ve maxed out my credit card and I have no money left to pay my rent or to pay for food.

I’ve set up a GoFund Me page here:

https://www.gofundme.com/2s99rkmc

I’d appreciate any money any of you could give no matter how large or small.

-Christopher

 

 

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