Some of you may have seen Lily Maase’s post about her experiences as a guitarist and composer. I read it with great sadness. What happened to her is terrible, and sadly it’s not an anomaly, as we have heard from so many other women in recent times. Lily is a brilliant guitarist, a compelling composer and a great addition to the creative music scene.
At Banff, I wish I had done more to pressure The Banff Centre to defend Lily’s right to a fair and speedy inquiry in response to her complaint of assault. As soon as I heard of the incident, I took Lily to Community Services at the Banff Centre. They told us there would be an investigation and that they would handle it. My position as artistic director had no voice in the proceedings and I was kept out of any involvement with the process.
When Lily moved to New York, I wish I had done more to help her. Supporting young musicians has always been an important part of my work.
Searching my memory and my conscience, I can say with confidence that I did not discourage anyone from hiring Lily. Lily was among the many musicians I mentored in several programs. I encouraged her work and continued to follow it with interest. I know of no effort to silence Lily Maase, or to take her career away in the wake of these incidents and am not aware of any attempts at retaliation in the industry or the community.
I have reached out directly to Lily to express these thoughts. Lily’s story is so important because it shows how much more work we still have to do. I will continue to push the institutions where I work to be more aware and responsive. I will continue to support organizations that promote equality for women. And I will continue to listen to women in my community for ways I can contribute to equal treatment and increased opportunities for women in the creative arts.