Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Looks Back at “Triumphant” 2015/16 Season at Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony was held this evening, November 10, 2016 at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts. In addition to reporting on the financial results of the 2015/16 season, the KWS reflected on the artistic highlights of the season and the positive effect of recent organizational changes.
The meeting was opened by KWS Board Chair Catherine Copp, who welcomed members and visitors after a short musical performance by flautist Kaili Maimets, who joined the orchestra in the spring of 2016, accompanied on piano by WLU student Stephanie Mara.
Board Treasurer Lois Norris presented the financial report for the 2015/16 Season, which included a surplus of $178,107. Norris attributed the results to the full impact of organizational changes that began in the previous season, as well as significant savings in many areas. Norris noted that the turnaround from the previous year was over $300,000 and shared her confidence in the financial future of the organization.
The meeting continued with the nomination and election of five new Board members to the KWS Board of Directors. Elected to a three-year term were: Dylan Corey, Heather Galt, Angela Olano, Christine Tolton and Christine Walker. Mark Mollison renewed his tenure on the Board for another three years. Leaving the Board at the end of their terms were Connie Deckert, Raymond Laflamme, and Catherine Motz.
Catherine Copp presented the Board Chair Report after welcoming the new members of the Board and bidding farewell to those at the end of their terms. Copp began her report by recalling the celebratory nature of the 2015/16 Season, as the KWS recognized its 70 year history and looked to the future with excitement. She updated members on the search for a new Music Director, as Edwin Outwater completes his tenure at the end of the current season. She noted that the process is in full swing and the Music Director Search Committee is dedicated to finding the right person to lead the KWS into its artistic future.
Edwin Outwater, KWS Music Director, presented his report via pre-recorded video, beginning by emphasizing his excitement at having ended the year on such a positive note. He noted that artistically the 2015/16 season was a “triumph” and went on to list some of the highlights of the season. The artistic highlights included the performances of Die Fledermaus, presented in partnership with WLU’s Faculty of Music, Stewart Goodyear’s performances of all five Beethoven piano concertos, Yuletide Spectacular, and the always innovative Intersections Series which explored silent film, throat singing and geometry. “We’ve had so many amazing seasons in Kitchener-Waterloo, I am particularly proud of this one,” reflected Outwater. “We should be very proud of where we’ve come in 70 years. It’s a great pleasure, as always, to be Music Director. I’m looking forward to this season, my final season, and I am so thrilled that the news about the symphony is in all ways so good, so that when I do move on I know that the orchestra will be in good health and good hands.”
Executive Director Andrew Bennett was invited by Copp to give his report. Bennett spoke about the 2015/16 Season as one of success, both organizational and artistic. He reflected on the tough decisions of the previous season that had, with the support of orchestra members, staff and orchestra, allowed for a significant turnaround. Bennett reminded members that there is still work to be done, but that the KWS is now in a good position to do so, with the support of those closest to the KWS, as well as the community at large.
The meeting also included the presentation of the Mabel Krug Award and the Rachel Smith-Spencer Award. The Mabel Krug Award was presented to John Spearn, who has been deeply involved and committed to the orchestra for decades, having been an advisor to the administration and a member of the Board for many years, serving as Board Chair in 2004. The Rachel Smith-Spencer Award, presented to Chrissy Scheerer, Development & Donor Relations Coordinator, is an annual employee award to recognize outstanding job performance, dedication, positive attitude and contributions to the KWS.
The meeting continued with the recognition of orchestra members Anna Luhowy and Nancy Wharton, now in their 40th seasons with the KWS. The award celebrates and thanks Anna and Nancy for their dedication to the KWS and music making over many years.
Copp concluded the AGM by thanking sponsors, members, donors, volunteers and patrons for their continued support of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony.
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