Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra Update


THUNDER BAY – ARTS – “It’s hard to believe how much has changed in the last two weeks,” says TBSO president, Linda Penner. “Not only have we had to cancel the rest of this season, we’re also having to deal with the financial impacts on staff and operations, changes to our plans for next year, and keeping our patrons, sponsors, and the public informed. It’s been quite the process—and we’re not alone. Every other arts-related organization is going through exactly what we are, at the same time. It staggers the imagination.”

Penner announced that TBSO’s upcoming Season 60 subscription campaign will be postponed for a few weeks to allow for reconfirming and rescheduling several of next year’s guest artists. “Normally, we would have launched the new season at all our concerts throughout April,” Penner says. “That’s going to make our marketing a bit more difficult, but given present circumstances, that’s a minor imposition.” She adds that patrons should look for brochures in their mailboxes within a month.

“We deeply regret the way the season ended for us,” Penner says. “It’s only when we’re denied access to the power of live music, that we become aware of its value in our lives. In times like this, we need great music now, more than ever. I know that our musicians feel the loss as much as our patrons do, or more. We’re all affected by this.”

Among other cancellations is the spring Fruit and Cheese sale run by long-time TBSO volunteer, Johan Terpstra. This sale will be moved back to a date later in the year, Penner states, with any purchases carried forward. In the meantime Terpstra has 200 lbs. of cheese to sell, along with fruit preserves. Those interested in stocking up on some excellent cheese and preserves should contact him by email at or by phone at 344.5238.

“I am humbled by the support we’ve received over this past week,” Penner says. “Over 75 percent of ticket holders to cancelled concerts have turned them in to us as tax- deductible donations.” She adds, “We’re also seeing a small uptick in online donations, just as we launch our annual spring donation drive, which will be going out in the mail next week. With no other revenues coming in, these donations have become extremely important.”

Penner goes on to say, “We’re also doing our best to honour our financial commitments. All of our musicians will be paid to the end of the scheduled season as usual. Our top priority, as always, is putting the well-being of our community first.”

She goes out of her way to thank TBSO’s season sponsors, partners including the Auditorium, volunteers, staff and management for coming together to work through this crisis. “In particular I’d like to thank our Executive Director, Gerald McEachern, for keeping us all on an even keel with a steady hand on the wheel.”

Penner asks that all those wishing to make a donation should go to or call the TBSO office at 626.8276.

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