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VSO Facts & Figures

Founded: The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1919 as a not-for-profit Society.

Annual Operating Budget: $16 million (Largest Arts Organization West of Ontario/Third Largest Symphony in Canada)

Concerts Performed Per Year: 150

Annual Attendance: 250,000 including 50,000 children and young adults

Recent Highlights: 2013: U.S. West Coast Tour | 2011: Opened the VSO School of Music | 2009: Central Canada Tour | 2008: Won Grammy® and Juno® Awards | 2008: Asia Tour (Korea, Macau, China)

Performance Venues: The VSO performs throughout Metro Vancouver and in Whistler annually:

  • Vancouver: Orpheum Theatre, St. Andrew’s-Wesley Church, The Annex, Pyatt Hall, Vancouver Playhouse, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, Bard on the Beach
  • North Vancouver: Centennial Theatre
  • West Vancouver: Kay Meek Centre
  • Burnaby: Michael J. Fox Theatre, Deer Lake Park
  • Delta: South Delta Baptist Church
  • New Westminster: Anvil Centre
  • Surrey: Bell Performing Arts Centre 
  • Whistler: Whistler Olympic Plaza

Education and Community Programs: An important part of the VSO’s purpose is to educate and advocate for music education

  • Elementary School Concerts: the VSO performs 12 concerts each year for students in Kindergarten – Grade 7. 25,000 students from over 490 schools participate annually 
  • Symphonic Encounters: a series of 5 open rehearsals offering Secondary and Post-Secondary School students an opportunity to go behind the scenes with the VSO
  • TD All-Access Pass: offers 4,300+ students and anyone 35 or younger an opportunity to attend a VSO concert for only $15
  • VSO Connects: Maestro Tovey, VSO musicians and post-secondary music students visit Elementary and Secondary schools in six of Metro Vancouver’s school districts. Over 100 school visits are made each year
  • Clinics and Masterclasses: VSO musicians and guest artists share their expertise with the students of the VSO School of Music, UBC School of Music, the Vancouver Academy of Music and North Vancouver School District 
  • Kids’ Koncerts: 5 Sunday matinees for children aged 4 – 11 and their families 
  • Tiny Tots: 16 concerts presented by early childhood educators for infants and children up to 5 years old 
  • Jean Coulthard Readings: gives emerging BC composers the opportunity to have their work played by the VSO
  • VSO Co-Productions: committed to working with the next generation of musicians by giving students performance opportunities alongside professional musicians, the VSO collaborates with youth bands and orchestras from the North Vancouver School District and the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Giving Back: the VSO supports charities in their fundraising efforts through the donation of tickets for auction
  • Education and Community Partnerships: the VSO maintains partnerships with the Coalition for Music Education in BC, UBC’s School of Music, the VSO School of Music, the Vancouver Academy of Music, and the Saint James Music Academy. Through these partnerships we aspire to support the growth and appreciation of symphonic music and to advocate for outstanding music education in schools and community music organizations
  • Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler: Students from all over the world study with members of the VSO and Maestro Bramwell Tovey in the beautiful resort municipality of Whistler

In addition – Vancouver Symphony Musicians populate the faculties of music in numerous colleges, universities and community music schools throughout the Lower Mainland

Board of Directors: 23 (volunteers)

Full-Time Employees: 104 (70 Musicians/34 Staff)

Sources of Revenue:

  • 38% Tickets sales and other earned revenue
  • 29% Fundraising from private sector (Donations from individuals & corporations, sponsorship, Special Events and lottery sales)
  • 28% Federal Government
  • 5% Endowment Funds

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