Toronto Symphony posts deficit, cuts costs

Posted on: December 5, 2013

“Slumping ticket sales contributed to a $1.2 million deficit for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s 2012/13 season, up from the prior year’s $837,736 deficit, it was announced Tuesday at the annual general meeting,” writes Trish Crawford in Tuesday’s (12/3) Toronto Star. “Ticket revenues fell from $9.8 million to $8.3 million. Recent strategies to improve sales have included movies being shown while the orchestra plays the live soundtrack, on-stage acrobats, late-night concerts, alcohol allowed into the theatre for some events and cheap seats for those under 30, [interim CEO and president Roberta] Smith says. It sold 24,843 tickets at $14 each in its ‘TSoundsheck’ program aimed at younger audiences…. While individual ticket sales are up in recent years, subscribers … are becoming fewer.… The symphony’s moves to cut costs included axing five staff positions and two education outreach programs, it reported. Attendance averaged 79 per cent over its 43-week, 106-concert season at Roy Thomson Hall.… Currently searching for a new CEO with the retirement of Andrew Shaw [in August 2013], the TSO is looking for someone who can turn things around, just as Shaw did more than 12 years ago. ‘We are looking for a visionary,’ says Smith.”

Posted December 5, 2013