Posted on 05 August 2015.
Business leader and philanthropist Pierre Lassonde has been named Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts, effectively immediately, and for a five-year term. He succeeds the late Joe Rotman in the role. Speaking about the appointment, Canada Council CEO Simon Brault said, “Pierre Lassonde holds a deep conviction of the importance of the arts in the lives of individuals and nations. He is well known for his ability to analyze and understand the risks and, even more so, the opportunities of the business world. His knowledge, considerable experience and creativity will serve him well in the role of Chair of the Canada Council, addressing the challenges related to the public funding of the arts.”
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has announced that its Concertmaster for the last six seasons, Dale Barltrop, has been appointed First Violin of the Australian String Quartet. Mr. Barltrop will conclude his work with the VSO at the end of the 2015-16 season, and will return to live in his native Australia full-time for the first time in eighteen years. Speaking about his time with the VSO, Mr. Barltrop said, “The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has been my family and my life for the past six years. I am eternally grateful to the staff, board, patrons and the wonderful musicians of the VSO for allowing me the opportunity to serve this community.”
The Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra has announced the appointment of Susan Quinn as Conductor of the Junior Strings Orchestra. Ms Quinn holds degrees in violin performance and music education from Memorial University and a Master’s in Conducting from the University of Maine. She is Director of Choral and String Ensembles at Holy Heart School, and also leads the Quintessential Vocal Ensembles choirs.
Michael Murray is the new Executive Director of the Toronto Musicians’ Association, Local 149 of the Canadian Federation of Musicians. He comes to the role after eight years as the Ontario Arts Council’s Popular and World Music and Arts Service Organizations Officer, during which time his outreach efforts to first-time, new-generation and OAC priority group artists resulted in a significant increase in applications to the Popular Music program.
Posted in Orchestra News, People, Weekly Newsletter
Posted on 04 March 2015.
The Canadian Federation of Musicians (CFM) has announced the appointment of Bernard LeBlanc as CFM Director of Symphonic Services, succeeding Mark Tetreault in the role. In this position, Mr. Leblanc’s duties include negotiation of collective agreements, assistance in dispute resolutions, representation at industry and union conferences and seminars, assistance to AFM Locals, and maintaining resources of information for bargaining and for best orchestral practices. Orchestras Canada has had the pleasure of working with Bernard from time to time, and we wish him all the best in his new role!
Congratulations to Ellen and Allen Borak, winners of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra’s Golden Baton award for 2015, presented on February 28. The Golden Baton acknowledges the long-term support and contribution of CPO donors, and the Boraks have been particularly implicated in the success of CPO’s excellent symphonic chorus, enabling more than 150 volunteer singers to perform diverse repertoire with a professional edge in more than eight CPO concerts every season.
At its annual general meeting on February 8, the members of the Association des orchestres de jeunes du Québec (AOJQ) elected conductor and long-time AOJQ supporter Jacques Clément as their new president, for a two year term. He succeeds Louise Richard, who has served the Association for an amazing twenty-five years—ten as president. Mme Richard will retain the ex officio role of past president. The AOJQ’s signature event, its biennial Youth Orchestra Festival, will take place at the Collège Saint-Sacrement in Terrebonne QC from March 25-27, 2016. For more information, please visit aojq.qc.ca.
Posted in Orchestra News, Weekly Newsletter
Posted on 17 December 2014.
Last week, a number of key people from the Canadian performing arts world met in Toronto with representatives from Employment and Skills Development Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada to discuss the impact of recent changes to the Temporary Foreign Workers Program. The meeting is part of a series of consultations being undertaken by ESDC and CIC. The orchestral sector was well-represented by Jennifer MacDonald (Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra), Rachel Malach and Lisa Hamel (Toronto Symphony Orchestra), Nelson MacDougall (National Arts Centre Orchestra) and Katherine Carleton (Orchestras Canada) along with a team led by Liana White of the Canadian Federation of Musicians. Dance, opera, and theatre representatives also participated.
Although we cannot report concrete outcomes from the session, we can confirm that the tone was open and constructive, and that our analysis of the issues and the recommendations we brought to the meeting were well-heard. We’ve posted a copy of the discussion paper we presented here.
Posted in Orchestra News, Weekly Newsletter