Tag Archive | "Canada Council for the Arts"

Good News from Orchestras Canada’s Funders

Good News from Orchestras Canada’s Funders

In mid-June, Orchestras Canada received positive news from two of our major funding partners – and we’re grateful!

We thank the Ontario Arts Council for not only sustaining our multi-year funding at the level of $75,445 for 2014-15, but also awarding OC a project grant for a multi-part webinar series designed for smaller budget performing arts organizations, which we’ll be presenting in partnership with Theatre Ontario, Ontario Presents, and Choirs Ontario starting in the fall.

We salute the Canada Council for the Arts for awarding OC funds to regrant to representatives from smaller budget orchestras to help them attending our national conference in 2015. We’ll share more on this event in coming weeks.

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A Word of Thanks

A Word of Thanks

Orchestras Canada’s national meetings took place June 12 to 14 in Toronto, and the staff and board of Orchestras Canada would like to thank the many people and organizations that made the meetings possible. We learned a lot, we loved seeing delegates from across Canada, and we look forward to doing it again next year!

We’d like to acknowledge our amazing sponsors: marquee sponsor Great West Life/London Life/Canada Life; presentation sponsors TicketPro and Beatty Media Projects; coffee break sponsors Cowan Insurance Group, Dean Artists, and Long & McQuade; and KPMG for donating meeting space and technical support on June 14. We’re superlatively grateful to the Canada Council for the Arts and Dr. George Freundlich for helping to underwrite the costs of our travel bursary and Next Generation Leaders programs. Thanks also to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for hosting an intermission reception for us!

Hats off to our remarkable presenters: Maggie Hartnick and Hil Moss of LaPlaca Cohen; Renaud Legoux of HEC Montréal; Paul Born of the Tamarack Institute; and Judy Harquail of Ontario Presents, Tim Yerxa of the Fredericton Playhouse, and Sam Varteniuk of the Registry Theatre.

Heartfelt thanks to our facilitators and moderators: Jane Marsland, Debra Chandler, Micheline McKay, Renaud Legoux, Randy Barnard.

And a special shout-out to our panelists: Denny Young, Elaine Calder, Robert Fraser, Kimberly Raycroft, Tim Crouch, Jennifer Bryan, Marie-Josée Desrochers, Tricia Baldwin, Rick Dunlop, Thérèse Boutin, Jeff Alexander, Brian Emmett, and Paul Wells. You generously shared what you know, and we all learned from you.

Planning is now underway for our 2015 meetings, and we look forward to sharing updates with you soon!

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People

People

The McGill Chamber Orchestra dedicated its June 10 performance to the memory of long-time MCO concertmaster, chamber musician, and teacher Yaela Hertz Berkson. Ms Hertz was appointed concertmaster of the McGill Chamber Orchestra in 1959 by founder and Music Director, Alexander Brott, and held this position for over 40 years. Boris Brott, current artistic director of the MCO, says: “Yaela Hertz’s sound became the hallmark of the orchestra for her entire tenure. This warm and personal tone with its exceptional engaging quality garnered rave reviews for the orchestra on its world tours. She was a model of a collaborator for my father Alexander and the two simply became one in their musical expression.”

Orchestra London has announced the retirement of two prominent musicians from its ranks: principal oboist Ian Franklin, and principal second violinist Sigmar Martin. Mr. Franklin joined the orchestra in 1986, and Mr. Martin joined the orchestra in 1981. They have each enriched community life through their orchestral, solo, and chamber performances, and both have been busy teachers, as well.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has announced the appointment of a new Composer-in-Residence, Jocelyn Morlock (succeeding Edward Top); the inaugural appointment of Composer-in-Association, Marcus Goddard (the VSO’s current Associate Principal Trumpet); and the promotion of its current Assistant Conductor, Gordon Gerrard, to the title of Associate Conductor, for a two-year term.

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the winner of this year’s $25,000 Virginia Parker Prize, awarded to “a Canadian classical musician under the age of 32 who demonstrates outstanding talent and musicianship.” This year’s winner is harpist Caroline Cole, a native of Peterborough ON, and a past student of Judy Loman and Nancy Allen. For more information, please visit canadacouncil.ca.

The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has announced the retirement of violinist Ray Chrunyk, stepping down from his post after an amazing 40 years.

Congratulations to conductors Jacques Lacombe (Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivieres and New Jersey Symphony) and Boris Brott (McGill Chamber Orchestra and National Academy Orchestra), both recently installed as members of the Ordre National du Quebec!

The Ottawa Chamber Music Society has recently announced the appointment of Maxim Antoshin as its new Executive Director. Mr. Antoshin has been executive director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra since 2011, and will take up his new responsibilities in Ottawa in early September 2014.

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Federal Budget 2014 and Canadian Orchestras

Federal Budget 2014 and Canadian Orchestras

February 11 was budget day in Canada, and arts and culture groups across Canada—along with the broader charitable sector—have reason to be pleased with the content of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget. “The specific references to arts and culture, and the positioning of our sector as a key contributor to the quality of life in Canadian communities, would be positive in any federal budget,” said Katherine Carleton, Orchestras Canada’s executive director. “Combined with the early announcement of the renewal of key funding envelopes at the Department of Canadian Heritage, I’d call Budget 2014 very good news for Canadian orchestras.”

Here’s a quick run-down of the arts and charity-specific measures announced in the budget.

The budget included the announcement—a year early– of the renewal of the Canada Funds at the Department of Canadian Heritage, due to expire in March 2015. Notably, this measure was one of three recommendations made by Orchestras Canada in our pre-budget brief this year. The $105 million investment, effective 2015-16, includes:
• $25 million for the Canada Council for the Arts (supplementary funding that had been in place at Council since 2001, but was due to expire in 2015).
• $30.1 million for the Canada Cultural Investment Fund (a suite of programs that includes the Endowment Incentives program)
• $30 million for the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund.
• $18 million for the Canada Arts Presentation Fund.
• $1.8 million for the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust.

As the budget said, “this investment will ensure that Canadians continue to enjoy access to a great diversity of Canadian arts and culture.”

While this is neither new nor increased funding, today’s announcement ensures that important programs at the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Canada Council can continue and evolve.

The budget also included a number of initiatives designed to assist charities in their work, including
• Investments in technology at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to allow charities to apply for registration and file their annual information returns electronically
• Establishment by the CRA of an enhanced web presence on charitable giving trends and characteristics in Canada
• Amendments to the Criminal Code to allow charities to conduct various aspects of lotteries through the use of a computer, using modern e-commerce methods for the purchasing, processing and issuing of lottery tickets and issuing of receipts to donors
• Increased flexibility for trustees of individuals’ estates to apply charitable donation credits against the income tax liabilities of the individual or the estate.

Orchestras Canada has written to Minister Flaherty, Minister Glover, and the three MPs with whom we met in November to discuss our recommendations, to thank them for their support: Minister Joe Oliver, Parliament Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage Rick Dykstra, and Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett.

We urge you to join us in letting your MP know how you feel about these measures, and we’ve prepared templates that you can customize with information about your own orchestra, and the impact these measures will have. You can find them on the OC website here.

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Prestigious Award for Tafelmusik

Prestigious Award for Tafelmusik

Last week, at the annual CAPACOA conference, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra was presented with the 2012/13 season Canadian Arts Presenting Association (CAPACOA) Award for Touring Artist of the Year. The CAPACOA awards recognize excellence in the field of live performance touring and presenting in Canada, and the Touring Artist of the Year award recognizes performers whose professionalism and cooperative spirit enhance their relationship with presenters.

Speaking about the award, Tafelmusik Managing Director Tricia Baldwin said, “we are very grateful to CAPACOA and award sponsor Roy Thomson Hall and Massey Hall for this great honour. Our musicians love to tour and are very excited to be on the national and international stage with such innovative programmes such as Alison Mackay’s The Galileo Project and House of Dreams. We are thankful for the support from Canadian presenters, the Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council – all of whom make Canadian touring possible. Receiving this award of distinction has made us all really proud.”

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What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading?

We’ve got two recommendations for you this week:

The Association of British Orchestras presented its annual conference in London from January 29-31, and the keynote speaker was musical polymath Paul Morley, who delivered a bracing challenge to orchestras to fully occupy their rightful place as “keyholders to a more human future”. It was a tour de force, and you can read the text of his speech here.

The Canada Council for the Arts held its Annual Public Meeting in Ottawa on January 28, and – while there were many highlights – we’d warmly enjoin you to read some valedictory thoughts on public engagement by outgoing Council vice-chair, Simon Brault. You can find them here.

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Competitions and Awards

Competitions and Awards

Congratulations to Martin MacDonald, this year’s recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Heinz Unger Award. The $8000 award is presented biennially to an emerging professional Canadian conductor and recognizes talent and promise, musicianship, and commitment to Canadian repertoire and Canadian musicians. A Cape Breton native, Martin is currently Associate Conductor of Symphony Nova Scotia, and has guest conducted for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

And congratulations to composer Nicole Lizée, who was recently awarded the Jules Leger Prize for New Chamber Music by the Canada Council for the Arts for her work, White Label Experiment. The work was inspired by American composer John Cage, and commissioned by Soundstreams. You can hear the work here!

The December 15 deadline is fast approaching for the 2014 edition of the Montreal International Musical Competition, this year dedicated to the piano. For more information about the competition, and to learn more about application requirements, please visit concoursmontreal.ca.

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People

People

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the appointment of Roger Gaudet as the new Director, Arts Disciplines Division at the Council, effective October 15, 2013. He succeeds Anne Valois, who is leaving Council after 27 years—the last three in this role. He, too, is a Council veteran, with over 16 years of experience working in the Theatre section, most recently as Head. Mr. Gaudet will work closely with colleagues at Council on operating funding program changes, among other responsibilities.

The Canada Council for the Arts has reappointed Board Chair Joseph L. Rotman for another five year term. Speaking about the reappointment, Council Director and CEO Robert Sirman said, “Mr. Rotman’s deep understanding of best practices in business and management are enormous assets to the Council. His dedication to ensuring that Canadians have access to a vital and diverse arts sector is invaluable. The big changes to which the Council aspires take time, and Mr. Rotman’s reappointment will help ground the important work already underway on program renewal and public engagement. I am delighted we will be able to continue to count on his wisdom and support.”

Hearty congratulations to the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra’s resident conductor, Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, who was recently awarded the Jean-Marie Beaudet prize by the Canada Council for the Arts. Worth $1,000, the Jean-Marie Beaudet Award is given annually to a young Canadian conductor as recommended by the Grant to Professional Musicians Peer Assessment Committee for the March 1st deadline. Eligible candidates are selected by the Music Section from among the resident or staff conductors with Canadian orchestras. To learn more about Mr. Bartholomew-Poyser, please visit bartholomewpoyser.com.

The Canada Council Michael Measures Prize has been awarded to 19-year-old violinist Blake Pouliot, a Toronto native who’s currently studying at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. Launched in September 2010 through a partnership with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC), the prize will provide Mr. Pouliot with $15,000 to help continue to build his musical career, already off to a promising start. To learn more about Mr. Pouliot, please visit canadacouncil.ca.

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People

People

Congratulations to Lorraine Vaillancourt, founder and music director of the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, who has recently been awarded the Prix du Recteur by the Université de Montréal and an honorary doctorate by the Université Laval.

The Canada Council for the Arts recently announced the winner of the 2013 Virginia Parker Prize: soprano Layla Claire. The prize is awarded annually to a Canadian classical musician under the age of 32 who demonstrates outstanding talent and musicianship. Speaking about the award, Ms Claire said, “I am constantly asked when working abroad what could possibly be in the water in Canada because of the high level of Canadian singers. I dare to believe that I have the ability and the work ethic to achieve an international career at the highest level and represent Canada like other artists have done before me.”

Congratulations to Isaac Chalk, recently appointed as Principal Viola of Les Violons du Roy. He begins his new post with the orchestra in September 2013.

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It Takes a Village (and sometimes, a megacity)

It Takes a Village (and sometimes, a megacity)

From May 28 to 30, Orchestras Canada hosted our national meetings in Toronto. During two-and-a-half days of presentations, discussions, workshops, concerts, and collegial exchange, orchestra CEOs, staff, and music directors from across the country, funders, and other key individuals in the industry gathered for an exploration of creativity, innovation and change. From the opening reception at the Canadian Music Centre to the final presentation and workshop by Richard Evans of EmcArts, OC and our delegates benefited from the generosity of many, many people and organizations. Here’s a quick list of the people we’d like to acknowledge:

Our sponsors and donors, including Great West Life/London Life/Canada Life; Wednesday reception co-hosts Roy Thomson Hall, Grano Restaurant, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; coffee break sponsors Cowan Insurance, Dean Artists, Long and McQuade, and Honens; and delegate kit donors, The Sultans of String, Caline Artists, and Young Associates;

Our host orchestras: the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, both of whom performed with such passion and skill for us, and whose staff were an integral part of the event;

Our presenters: artist and arts educator Robert Kelly; Tafelmusik music director Jeanne Lamon; Loie Fallis, Jennifer Green, and Josh Clavir from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Samantha Zimmerman from Young Associates; Tricia Baldwin, Alex Skoczylas and Réjean Tremblay from Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; Alan S. Brown from WolfBrown, along with Howard Herring and Craig Hall from the New World Symphony; Aimé Dontigny and Daniel Swift from the Canada Council for the Arts; Richard Evans from EmcArts.

The nine participants in our inaugural Next Generation Leaders program, whose energy, insights, and perspectives brought so much to the gathering: Marie-Hélène Nault Leblanc (Saskatoon Symphony); Sarah Boonstra (Windsor Symphony); Andrew Mellanby (Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony); Blanche Israel (University of Toronto Scarborough); Geoffrey Shoesmith; Faye Bontje (Halifax Music Coop); Stephanie Miletic and Tim Crouch (Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra); Tanya Derksen (Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra). We also thank everyone involved in our first-ever mentoring program – both those who’d formally agreed to meet with one of the Next Generation Leaders (Thérèse Boutin, Orchestre symphonique de Québec; Vicki Young, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; Jeff Alexander, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Tricia Baldwin, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Christopher Deacon, National Arts Centre Orchestra; Ann Lewis-Luppino, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra; Roberta Smith, Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Leanne Davis, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; and Genevieve Twomey, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony) – and those who took the time to engage in discussion with these inspiring young people;

Orchestras Canada’s board of directors, who committed important resources from OC’s Strategic Fund to underwrite travel bursaries for the Next Generation Leaders, and smaller budget orchestra staff;

The team behind the scenes, who made it all work: Sarah Bobak, Anastasia Tchernikova, and Debra Chandler at Orchestras Canada; our amazing volunteers, Natalie Bogdon, Will Callaghan, Jennifer Caines, Aysel Taghi-Zada, and Nonna Aroutiounian; and the team at Hart House, University of Toronto, who proved to be such capable and resourceful hosts.

Most of the sessions at the meetings were recorded, and our summer student, Anastasia Tchernikova, will spend the next few weeks editing them for dissemination on Orchestras Canada’s YouTube channel. Watch for more updates!

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