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Canadian League of Composers + Canadian Music Centre Ontario Region

Statement on Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Season Cancellation

The Canadian Music Centre and the Canadian League of Composers are shocked and dismayed to learn about the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s last minute decision to cancel their entire 2023/24 season. In addition to the immediate and profoundly negative impacts on KWS musicians and members of the Kitchener-Waterloo community, this decision is a disaster for Canadian composers. The KWS has been a great friend of Canadian Music, commissioning many new works over the years, and providing an important platform for composers to present their music to an engaged and enthusiastic public.

This news, coupled with the recent announcement that Toronto’s Artscape has gone into receivership, and many other anecdotal stories of dramatically reduced funding from grants, paints a bleak picture for the arts in Ontario and Canada.

It is clear: the arts sector is struggling.

More than ever, arts service organizations such as the CMC and the CLC need to help lead a conversation about the sustainability of the arts in Canada. As both of our organizations enter into new strategic planning cycles, we will be putting the remuneration of artists and long-term sustainability at the centre of our goals. The only way to combat the erosion of arts infrastructure is by organizing collectively and the CLC and CMC are your advocates and resources.

Most importantly, we would like to express our solidarity with the KWS musicians and staff whose livelihoods have been so suddenly and dramatically impacted by this decision. We very much hope that the KWS is down, but not out.

If you would like to be a part of this ongoing conversation, please sign up here.

Joseph Glaser, Director of the Ontario Region – Canadian Music Centre

Tyler Versluis, President – Canadian League of Composers

August Murphy King>, General Manager – Canadian League of Composers