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FOR 22 YEARS in a row, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra has maintained balanced budgets, and the 17/18 season was another strong season both financially and artistically. This and other good news was proudly presented at the AGM on 23 October 2018.
Attendance figures for our evening concert series at Westminster United Church remain steady at 6,150, or nearly 80% attendance. The MCO performed for over 7,700 people through our outreach programs. Over a two-week period in June, the MCO 'Fiddlers on the Loose' travelled Northern Manitoba by van to deliver music programming, workshops, and performances. They engaged youth and communities in Little Black River, Berens River, Bissett, Falcon Lake, Moose Lake, Barrows, Minegoziibe, Water Hen, and Birdtail Sioux. Earlier in the year, the Fiddlers performed for 305 people at Stony Mountain Penitentiary, Rockwood Institution, and the Women's Correctional Facility, while 'Fiddlers on the Loose in the Library' reached 390 people. Through Artists in Healthcare, MCO musicians performed for about 700 people.
2017/18 was the MCO's 45th anniversary season, and programming reflected this milestone. There were performances by veteran guest artists like Measha Brueggergosman, Tracy Dahl, and Marc-André Hamelin, and a number of extraordinary collaborations with contemporary composers through the New Concerto Project, which signaled the MCO's commitment to the future of concert music. The MCO enjoyed performing with Simone Dinnerstein the historic Canadian premiere of Philip Glass' third piano concerto, which they co-commissioned. The MCO was pleased to perform a new concerto by David Raphael Scott, which was well received. The MCO also released Mirage? Concertos for Percussion featuring world-famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie. Critics have unanimously commended it over nearly ten international reviews. MCO audiences also delighted in encountering or better getting to know newer soloists. They include virtuosic violinist Aisslinn Nosky; young recorder player Lucie Horsch; Ariel Barnes, with whom the MCO also toured BC in the fall of 2017; and Winnipeg singer Andriana Chuchman, who together with Tracy Dahl sold out a concert that brought in a diverse audience.
Overall, fundraising efforts were strong. Our Candlelight Evening Fundraiser was held at the stylish, modern Théatre Cercle Molière, and our Heartstrings Gala was among our most successful yet from a financial perspective. It earned $63,000, with unprecedented results from our live auction, which brought in over $23,000, and the newly introduced Fund-A-Need program close to $15,000.
The VINYL VAULT's hot streak in recent years still shows no sign of going out, with the fundraising arm earning $15,860 in 2017/18, up from $14,740 in 16/17.
MCO's Endowment Fund, administered by The Winnipeg Foundation, received additional donations from supporters and matching funds from The Winnipeg Foundation and the federal Endowment Incentives Program. It now sits at $2,055,639; the MCO is also the beneficiary of a $375,000 life insurance policy.
The MCO Board of Directors expressed satisfaction with the year's results, and has turned its focus to the promise of the current season.
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