Okanagan Symphony Orchestra trumpets its successes

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra had a banner year.

During an annual update for Kelowna city council, key members of the orchestra explained they've been able to expand their creative profile through diversifying the type of events they hold while becoming more financially robust.

"We want to get out into the community," said maestro Rosemary Thompson.

The symphony's mantra, she said, is "see it, hear it, love it" and that aim is met through playing at small outdoor concerts, at schools and in senior centres.

Musicians are also collaborating with other community arts groups and the most notable partnership to date was with Ballet Kelowna.

While the orchestra's community profile is increasing, so too is their financial security.

"This Okanagan Symphony Orchestra season had modest operating surplus, which came to $11,000," said Scott Wilson, the orchestra's general manager.

A number of factors feed into the financial success of the orchestra. Ticket sales have been high, fundraising and cost saving efforts successful and, funding partnerships stable.

The biggest financial boon, however, was deposited into the orchestra's account just last month.

"A year ago, as a result of conclusions of gaming inquiry, provincial gaming funding was restored for adult cultural activities," said Wilson. As a result, $63,000 of gaming revenue hit the symphony coffers last month.

"It takes pressure off us," said Wilson, adding they'll start more outreach programs with the head start and that, in turn, will bring more money into the economy.




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