Canada’s Winnipeg Symphony institutes temporary layoffs following concert cancellations due to COVID-19

Posted on: March 20, 2020

“The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra announced on March 18 that over 100 workers have been temporarily laid off due to the impacts of COVID-19,” reports Kayla Rosen in Thursday’s (3/189) CTV News (Canada). Authorities are urging the cancellation of events with more than 50 people, and the Centennial Concert Hall cancelled or postponed all events and rehearsals until April 15. “According to a statement, 67 orchestra members, 30 administrative workers and 14 Sistema teachers are laid off, effective March 29. ‘The orchestra business is a very fragile one, at the best of times,’ said Trudy Schroeder, executive director of the WSO, in a statement. ‘This is an unprecedented situation and the decision was not an easy one, or taken lightly.… What is certain, though, is our priority to do whatever is needed to plan for a positive return to work for musicians and staff as soon as possible. These are our colleagues and friends. Our instinct is protect each other—especially at a time like this.’ ” A decision will be made soon concerning the rest of the 2019-20 season, including a Netherlands tour in May. “Each week we are unable to perform has a profound impact our ability to share great symphonic music,” Schroeder said.