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Background Information

The KWS is one of Canada’s outstanding orchestras, presenting a diverse and rich concert season and garnering national and international attention for its artistry and musicianship as well as for its innovative programming. Its education and outreach programs serve its evolving community and a continuum of ages.  The KWS continues to be the largest employer of artists and cultural workers and a significant cultural asset for Waterloo Region.


History of the KWS Edwin Outwater's Biography (PDF) Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts

Fast Facts

Press Releases

KWS Press Kit

The KWS annually presents a season with 8 series and more than 100 concerts presented at the Centre in the Square, Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, and local churches reaching 75,000 audience members.

While the KWS is a strong cultural resource to the Region of Waterloo, our reach regularly extends to
Toronto and beyond:

    Toronto’s Sony Centre partners with the KWS to program, promote and present KWS Pops performances that support the Centre’s mandate to serve the needs of an increasingly dynamic and multicultural city.

    Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto presents KWS Intersections concerts.

With a goal of reinventing the orchestral experience, Music Director Edwin Outwater and the KWS have collaborated with artists from composers Mason Bates, Gabriela Lena Frank, Nicole Lizée and Nico Muhly, to authors Daniel Handler and Daniel Levitin, rock musicians Dan Deacon and Richard Reed Parry, and others.

KWS Youth Orchestra Program: 150 members, ages 6—25, 5 ensembles, 20 concerts annually.

School Concerts Program: A free program for grades 1-6 with resources for teachers, 136 school visits, 6 full orchestra performances, serving 10,000 students annually.

Kinder & Family Concerts: 2 concert series designed specifically families with children, ages 0-10.

Symphony@Work: Programs for middle and high school students which provide an in depth connection to the work of the KWS.

In 2009, the KWS expanded its mandate to include the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, and maintains this theatre as a cultural venue for music, theatre and dance.