Orchestras Canada/Orchestres Canada
Orchestras Canada/Orchestres Canada. National service organization for Canada's professional, semi-professional, university, youth, community, and chamber orchestras as well as ensembles, presenters, and music educators. It was formed in 1997 as a result of a merger between the Association of Canadian Orchestras and the Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras. The combining of the two organizations was motivated by concerns over the impact of reduced financial and human resources on Canadian orchestras. Orchestras Canada supplies an array of services to its members including advocacy, information, employment information, professional and organizational development and training.
Orchestras Canada is active on the international scene and is a founding member of the International Alliance of Orchestra Associations. It has established links and exchanges information on issues faced by orchestras with other like-minded organizations across the world, including the Association of Asia-Pacific Region Orchestras and the League of American Orchestras.
Orchestras Canada has taken a firm stand articulating the importance of orchestras to Canadian cultural life. It also seeks to identify and help resolve the complex issues affecting the Canadian orchestral community. Orchestras Canada is the collective voice to governments and to the media on issues of concern to its members such as taxation status of musicians, national training programs, and advocacy for the arts in education. It presents briefs and appears before government committees and agencies in support of its membership. In 2002 Orchestras Canada in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts, embarked on a project to evaluate and improve the health and sustainability of Canadian orchestras. Divided in two phases, the "Soundings Initiative" identified five areas of concern for Canadian orchestras: governance, leadership, human resources, connecting with the community, and money.
Orchestras Canada's membership includes over 130 orchestras, close to 200 organizations, and approximately 400 individuals from across the country. It is funded through a variety of sources including membership fees and revenues earned through workshops, conferences, and seminars, as well as through public, government support and private, corporate sponsorships and donations.
To aid in professional development, Orchestras Canada hosts an annual national conference that features guest speakers and round-table discussions. It also organizes regional workshops to encourage the participation of local speakers on issues that are important to the local orchestral community. Orchestras Canada also organizes workshops for music directors and other orchestral staff and has begun workshops designed to examine the challenges facing smaller budget orchestras.
Orchestras Canada has continued many of the initiatives that formed the basis of the Association of Canadian Orchestras and the Ontario Federation of Symphony Orchestras. Primary among them is the employment information service for musicians, conductors and administrators known as The Job Board (formerly OPUS).
Orchestras Canada publishes a weekly e-newsletter entitled Orchestra News/Info Orchestres.