Washington’s Vancouver Symphony bounces back

Posted on: November 11, 2010

In Sunday’s (11/7) Columbian (Clark County, Washington), Erin Middlewood writes, “That the Vancouver Symphony is staging its second concert of the season this weekend is an achievement. Earlier this year it looked like the organization was in danger of folding altogether. It had to launch an aggressive fundraising campaign and slash its budget by about 25 percent to keep the music playing. ‘It’s definitely tough times,’ said Carly McDowell, the symphony’s executive director. ‘Arts and culture seem to be the first things that go in a bad economy.’ … Ticket sales held steady even as the economy collapsed. About 700 people hold tickets for the symphony’s 32nd season. But ticket sales cover only 20 percent of the symphony’s budget, which must pay 65 musicians for each performance. Donations and grants in the past covered the lion’s share of the budget—80 percent. The symphony’s ‘Save the Music’ campaign earlier this year raised $23,000, and brought the organization back from a financial precipice. But the worries aren’t over. The symphony will exhaust two big grants this year—$40,000 from the Paul G. Allen Foundation and $135,000 from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. McDowell said the symphony has shifted into an aggressive grant-writing mode, tapping the skills of board members.”

Photo: Salvador Brotons leads the Vancouver Symphony in a rehearsal
Credit: Zachary Kaufman

Posted November 11, 2010