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Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Foundation

Symphony members onstage

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Foundation (KWSF) was established in 1991 in honour of Raffi Armenian’s 20th Anniversary as Music Director to help secure the financial future of the KWS.  The Foundation is a separate charitable organization from the KWS with its own board of trustees responsible for managing its assets.  The Foundation’s objective is to hold and invest donations and to use the investment income for the benefit of the KWS.


For additional information and for a confidential discussion on how you can leave your legacy of great music and help build the future of the KWS, please contact:

Nadine Collins
Director of Development
& Donor Relations
519.745.4711 x 279

Email:  Nadine Collins

All gifts made to the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Foundation (KWSF) are Endowed Gifts.  Endowments are powerful ways to invest in the future of the KWS because they provide an ongoing source of funding.  The capital is invested and the annual income from your gift supports the operations of the KWS.

Why make an endowed gift?

  • Your donation is invested and the investment income from your gift supports the KWS.
  • Your gift can be unrestricted or designated to support a particular KWS program or orchestra chair.  You can also specify if you would like your gift to be permanently endowed.
  • Endowed gifts can be made in honour or memory of a family member, friend, or colleague.

Endowed gifts can be made at any time. For information on legacy gifts, see Planned Giving.

KWSF Investment Committee

Mike O’Neill is Vice President - Investments of The Economical Insurance Group. He was promoted to his current position in November 2001. Mike has managed the $3 billion investment portfolio since joining the company as Manager of Fixed Income Investments in March 1991. He has the ultimate responsibility for investments in Cash, Bonds and Preferred and Common Shares. Prior to joining Economical, Mike worked for investment dealer Gordon Capital, where he had sales and trading responsibility for Preferred Shares covering major institutional accounts across the country. He joined Gordon from Royal Trust in 1989 where he was Director of Corporate Investments, managing the $1.5 Billion corporate account portfolio comprised of preferred shares and over $400 million in common equities.

Mike has held the CFA designation since 1982 and has completed AIMR’s advanced Investment Management Workshop Course at Princeton. He received his MBA from the Ivey Business School at The University of Western Ontario, where he also received his undergraduate degree in Economics.

He is a past Chair of the Fixed Income Committee of the Toronto Society of Financial analysts and taught the Fixed Income segment of the CFA tutorial program in Toronto. Mike is married with two adult children and has lived and worked in the Kitchener Waterloo community for the last twenty years, where he is active on the Investment Committees of two local charitable organizations.

H. John Davidson is Vice-President & Investment Advisor with RBC Wealth Management | RBC Dominion Securities Inc.  He has been serving discerning investors in Kitchener Waterloo and the surrounding area for over 34 years in a professional capacity, however he personally started investing more than 45 years ago. He started his career with A. E. Ames and Company, a predecessor to RBC Dominion Securities, with which he has remained his entire professional investment career. Together with his business partner, Lisa Strayer, he serves medium to high net worth clients with expert portfolio management.

His formal training through Queens University, while articling at the Chartered Accountants firm of Clarkson, Gordon & Co. (now Ernst and Young) earned him the degree of a Chartered Accountant. As a result, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the business of strategically building custom portfolios, and providing timely advice on all aspects of investing.
John and his wife Cathay have four grown children and live on a farm outside of Kitchener Waterloo with their two Labrador Retrievers and three cats. They enjoy travelling, hiking, canoeing, cooking and reading.