You think music makes the world a better place.
We couldn’t agree more.
For over 50 years, the Ottawa Symphony has been nurturing the best of our city’s deep pool of musical talent while bringing together passionate and longstanding music lovers to collectively enjoy the best we can offer. The Ottawa Symphony plays big music with a big heart, and this city has embraced us for it.
Purchasing concert tickets, attending special events and supporting fundraising initiatives, and of course, donations help us to do the work needed to ensure that the show can go on. Let us tell you what we’ve been doing to keep the Ottawa Symphony vibrant, and how you can be a part of our future.
Fearless programming, meaningful opportunities
In 2018-19, we began the season with our innovative 3D String Theory concert at Ottawa City Hall performing a new orchestral composition on 3D-printed instruments. Despite that gaze into the future, we did not shy away from the exciting, monumental works of the 19th and 20th centuries that you’ve come to expect. Innovation takes many forms, including last season’s powerful orchestration of Bruckner’s Symphony no. 7, Rachmaninoff’s lush Symphonic Dances, and Mahler’s emotional Symphony no. 5.
We embarked on a strategic renewal of the Symphony this year. We have reconfirmed our commitment to performing large-scale concerts, like these. Our educational focus is to continue to create pre-professional opportunities for young talent. Through our established musician mentorship program with the University of Ottawa School of Music, we welcome as many as 25 talented young musicians to the stage for every concert. During the season, students have the opportunity to work with and learn from our regular musicians, some of whom have been with the Orchestra since they were students themselves. This program is unique in Canada, and that makes us proud. We’ve also created new experiential learning programs in arts management with Carleton University.
Moving experiences, shared joy
Ottawa Symphony concerts attract passionate and knowledgeable music lovers from all over the region, who gather to be transported by excellent music played with passion. We are working toward creating a richer concert experience that will appeal to current supporters and that will attract new audiences from our dynamic city. While music remains at the core, learning and social opportunities can only elevate the shared experience of coming together in the moving beauty of a live concert experience.
We all love the feelings we experience as we exit a concert, a certain warmth and euphoria. Still, the reality of producing large scale concerts like those is sobering. Over the past few seasons, concert expenses (it costs about $80,000 to produce a concert) have outpaced revenues. This is due to high production costs, declining audience turnouts, and a decrease in philanthropic support as our donor demographics shift.
But we are exploring many avenues to sustain the Symphony. The invitation to perform at the magnificent Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre is helping us to realise a savings of over $40,000 per season. The benefits of this new arrangement go beyond savings, this new venue allows us to more fully be the city’s orchestra, and work towards increasing performances and partnerships.
The savings are timely, but we also need to increase revenues. We’ve been working to secure new and repeat sponsorships from organisations like Alterna Savings and the Insurance Bureau of Canada. And we are fortunate to have a number of committed donors, who have pledged their support of this city’s historic orchestra. Once again, we thank you.
Help us reimagine a stronger Ottawa Symphony
We are at a very critical juncture, having laid some solid footings, we are in reach of a more sustainable future. And we still need your help.
By championing and investing in the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, supporters like you can restore our organisation’s financial health, and ensure the strength and longevity of a prestigious cultural pillar in our global, entrepreneurial city.