Oct 27, 2015

Tafelmusik reports 15th consecutive surplus budget at AGM

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Toronto (Canada), October 27, 2015 … At Tafelmusik’s Annual General Meeting on October 26, Board of Directors Chair Helen Polatajko and Treasurer Jeff Bennett reported on the financial and artistic success of the 2014/2015 season, which was marked by strong ticket sales, enthusiastically received national and international tours, a thriving creative and artistic output, exceptional guest artists, and dramatic improvements to the choir and orchestra’s home venue at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre.
“Tafelmusik's core artistic areas are its home performance season, touring, and recording, with additional activities in artist training, education and outreach. We are working on building sustainable models for increasing and maintaining these efforts,” said Ms. Polatajko. “To realize an expanding artistic and audience vision, Tafelmusik has been growing short and long term revenue capacity significantly to help offset financial challenges, and to facilitate the undertaking of artistic programming and initiatives.”
Newly-appointed Managing Director William Norris stated, “I am thrilled to be joining such a respected and well-regarded orchestra at a particularly exciting point in its history, and am pleased to report our 15th successive balanced budget with an operating surplus of almost $120,000 on a budget of $5.4MM. This strong financial position allows us to weather vagaries in a turbulent economic climate and also allows us to invest in artistic activity.” 
Reporting on the artistic success of the 2014/2015 season, Chief Artistic Advisor Jeanne Lamon said, “We have always stayed true to our artistic mandate at Tafelmusik, and as we take the next big steps we will do so with vision and thoughtfulness, and with our eyes on excellence as we always have done. I feel very proud and privileged to lead this talented and committed group of musicians, and we are all excited about taking bold new steps. On behalf of all the musicians, I thank all of you, our supporters, who make the world turn for Tafelmusik.”
Treasurer Jeff Bennett said, “Tafelmusik has a demonstrated history of sound financial management. Fiscal success is demonstrated in part by being deficit free during a period of great artistic expansion, having fifteen successive surplus budgets, significant revenue growth in earned, private sector and public sector support, over $800,000 in balance sheet funds and our $5MM endowment. We have also doubled our revenues since 1999/2000.” 
Mr. Bennett also noted that in addition to $1,228,747 in Net Assets, the Ontario Arts Foundation (OAF) holds a pool of endowment funds totaling $5,100,998 on behalf of Tafelmusik, of which $203,886 in investment income was received this past season. A successful gala event chaired by David Linds in May 2015 raised more than $100,000 in support of Tafelmusik’s concert and education programmes. 
Ms. Polatajko acknowledged the many individuals who contributed to making the season a success, saying, “I sincerely thank our wonderful and active Board of Directors, Jeanne Lamon, the orchestra, Ivars Taurins and the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, our newly installed Managing Director William Norris and the Tafelmusik staff, and our many volunteers for all of the accomplishments of this past season and for your hard work and dedication. I also thank our former Managing Director, Tricia Baldwin, for the vision, dedication, and perseverance she demonstrated throughout her 14 year tenure. I would like to make special mention of Alexandra Skoczylas to acknowledge her incredible 18 years of service as Tafelmusik’s Director of Marketing, and in particular for stepping up to the role of Acting Managing Director during the ten month interim period.”
Outgoing Board members Caroline Di Giovanni and Natalie Ochrym were warmly thanked for their many years of accomplished service. Tafelmusik also welcomed three new board members: Reinhard Dotzlaw, National Managing Partner, Audit Professional Practice KPMG; Victor D’Souza, Business Advisory Professional; and Bojan Pavlovic, Senior Vice President, Global Client Transformation Services CGI.
Tafelmusik thanked its sponsors and all levels of donors at the Annual General Meeting, with a special mention of Season Presenting Sponsor Sun Life Financial for its leadership support. BMO Financial Group was thanked for its significant support of the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, RBC was thanked for its support of the Tafelmusik Winter Institute, and TD Bank Group was thanked for its sponsorship of the Tafelscene programme. The Metcalf Foundation was acknowledged for supporting Tafelmusik’s digital media initiatives, and Tafelmusik also thanked its partners in government, the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Canadian Heritage and City of Toronto.  
Tafelmusik’s presence on the national and international scene was reinforced by major tours to Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Eastern Canada. Tafelmusik received the 2015 National Arts Centre Award for Distinguished Contribution to Touring in the Performing Arts, which honours exceptional achievement in fostering the touring of live performing arts in Canada. 
Tafelmusik’s ambitious $3.2 million revitalization of its home venue at Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre will help usher in its vision of becoming a global centre of excellence in period performance, while preserving the 125-year-old building’s sacred and historic character. In October 2014 Tafelmusik unveiled Phase Two, which includes dramatic improvements to the lobby and box office areas. Phase One took place in 2013 and brought major acoustical, stage and seating upgrades to Jeanne Lamon Hall. Thanks to the remarkable success of the revitalization project, Tafelmusik recently garnered the National Trust for Canada 2015 Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award for Building Heritage.  
Tafelmusik continues to push the boundaries of the concert experience with its stunning multi-media productions created by double bassist Alison Mackay, and 2015 saw the premiere of her latest fully-memorized programme, J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation with narrator Richard Greenblatt. “The musicians are standing, without chairs, music stands or sheet music; liberated from this architecture, their bodies sway and their eyes sparkle, infusing the old music with an impressive new energy. It’s as though the complex 18th-century composition were being played by a band of East Coast fiddlers. In these hands, Bach’s music feels more alive than ever.” (Globe & Mail)
Tafelmusik’s Toronto performances during the 2014/15 season clearly resonated with audiences, who responded enthusiastically to the array of concerts presented in three Toronto venues: Jeanne Lamon Hall, Koerner Hall, and George Weston Recital Hall:   
Total single ticket revenue came in at the second-highest level in the past decade. 
Almost 15% of single tickets sold for the 2014/15 season came from Tafelscene, Tafelmusik’s hugely successful 35-and-under membership programme launched in 2012. 
The number of Tafelscene tickets purchased increased by 40% over the previous season. 
The 14/15 season featured performances by compelling guest artists including conductor Kent Nagano, and violinists/guest directors Rodolfo Richter, Davide Monti, Pavlo Beznosiuk, and Amandine Beyer
Tafelmusik’s own Aisslinn Nosky guest directed Baroque Misbehaving, which featured the premiere of a new work commissioned from Canadian composer Michael Oesterle
Tafelmusik Chamber Choir director Ivars Taurins led sold-out performances of Bach’s St. John Passion, Vivaldi Gloria/Handel Coronation Anthems, and Handel’s Messiah and Sing-Along Messiah
Tafelmusik’s Artist Training initiatives continue to flourish, with the most recent Tafelmusik Baroque Summer and Winter Institutes welcoming a total of 113 pre-professional and professional musicians from 16 different countries. Participants gathered in Toronto in January and June for advanced training programmes led by some of the world's finest musicians in the field of baroque performance. 
Media contact: 
Luisa Trisi, Media Relations Manager, 416 456-0499 | e‐mail: ltrisi@sympatico.ca 
427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, M5S1X7
www.tafelmusik.org  | 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON, M5S 1X7