The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra’s strategic plan has three key themes, one of which is Community. As an organization we want to foster deep connections and a community-wide interest and appreciation of music.
One of the key goals within the theme of Community is to make meaningful connections. Through our work we strive to:
- Be responsive to diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Strengthen our links and collaborations with other performing arts organizations in the community and the larger region
- Build deeper and broader relationships with various audiences.
As a major contributor to the arts and culture scene in the Okanagan, the OSO joins numerous other groups and companies that support this cultural fabric that so greatly enriches our communities. This mutual support and collaborative work make it possible for us to connect with our communities in tangible and widespread ways. We are grateful and proud to be among such a collection of shining stars. We invite you to learn more about our OSO partnerships and connections, support the arts and culture sector, and attend the various community’s activities and performances.
For our 2022/2023 season, in addition to our long-time association with Peak Cellars, we have further extended our work in the community with some new partners. We encourage you to visit and support these businesses that support us.
Grizzli Winery has named the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra as its Art Gallery Charity Partner this season. Proceeds from art gallery events, auctions and a percentage of art sales are being donated to the OSO.
Habitat for Humanity provided an exciting opportunity for the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra that saw the OSYO as part of a national advertising strategy over the Christmas 2022 season.
- Allan Brooks Nature Centre has hosted several performances by our musicians, notably last summer’s Pocket Orchestra events.
- Arts Council of the Central Okanagan (ARTSCO) leads a quarterly Arts and Culture Roundtable meeting that the OSO participates in.
- Ballet Kelowna Another mainstay of arts & culture in the Okanagan, there is mutual admiration and ongoing reciprocal promotions between Ballet Kelowna and the OSO. They have been collaborative partners for major works including R. Murray Schafer’s The Falcon’s Trumpet in 2011, and for Canada’s sesquicentennial celebration in 2017 with Canadiana Suite.
- Central Okanagan United Church supports us in a variety of ways, including providing instrument storage and use of the facility.
- Centre culturel francophone de l’Okanagan Close to the OSO office and just the right size for a group of families to sing, dance and have fun while learning about music, the French Cultural Centre is the venue for our Symphony Storytime series.
- Chamber Music Kelowna (CMK) Another mainstay of arts & culture in the Okanagan, there is mutual admiration and ongoing reciprocal promotions between Chamber Music Kelowna and the OSO.
- The City of Kelowna owns Knowles House, at the corner of Bernard and Ethel, which has been the location of the OSO administrative offices for approximately 10 years. In addition, the City’s Cultural Services office is a source of support, particularly around marketing and promotions.
- Cleland Community Theatre in Penticton is our South Okanagan venue, and also hosts OSYO performances.
- First Lutheran Church (Kelowna) has for many years been the venue for OSYO rehearsals and Kelowna concert performances in the fall and spring, but they go far beyond that by providing storage space for our percussion instruments, and always being willing to accommodate our changing needs.
- Kelowna City Concert Band enjoys many ties to the OSO, from administrative and musical personnel in common, to shared equipment.
- Kelowna Community Music School (KCMS) provides space for masterclasses and a variety of other events. Many of our musicians teach there and many OSYO students learn there. Numerous other KCMS students have performed as part of our pre-concert Musicians in the Making series.
- Kelowna Community Theatre (KCT) is the OSO’s Kelowna “home,” where we rehearse and perform. Their knowledgeable and experienced sound, lighting and technical crews are an integral part of creating our overall professional product.
- North Okanagan Community Concert Association (NOCCA) has long been a partner for mutual promotions and admiration.
- OneSky Community Resources assists us by distributing our event posters throughout downtown Penticton.
- Opera Kelowna Another mainstay of arts & culture in the Okanagan, there is mutual admiration and ongoing reciprocal promotions between Opera Kelowna and the OSO. Music Director Rosemary Thomson, who is also Opera Kelowna’s Artistic Director, provides a strong link between these organizations.
- Pathways Abilities Society assists us by distributing our event posters throughout downtown Kelowna.
- Penticton Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (PAMDA) As well as ties created through our teaching musicians and south Okanagan OSYO students, PAMDA has hosted performances such as last summer’s Pocket Orchestra events.
- Rotary Centre for the Arts (RCA) frequently supports the OSO by providing space for meetings, auditions, and rehearsals. This season their box office serviced our Kelowna and Penticton performances.
- School District 23 (Central Okanagan) is a key partner in many of our Community Engagement programs, loaning instruments for Symphony Storytime, closely coordinating with us for our Middle School Band Clinics and School Shows, and providing marketing assistance with teachers and students.
- School Districts 53 (Okanagan Similkameen) and 83 (North Okanagan–Shuswap) likewise partner with us in providing marketing assistance, and being active participants in the presentation of our School Show programs.
- Trinity United Church (Vernon) has long been our “home” in the North Okanagan for OSYO rehearsals and performances.
- UBCO – Faculty of Creative and Critical Sciences has been a learning partner and supporter for several events over the years, providing space and services for rehearsals, speaking events and collaborative ventures. The OSO Wind Ensemble has performed at UBCO convocations for many years.
- Vernon Community Music School has ties with the OSO that include our musicians who teach there, and OSYO students who study there and have also attended masterclasses.
- Vernon and District Association for Community Living (VDACL) assists us by distributing our event posters throughout downtown Vernon.
- Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre (VDPAC) is our North Okanagan venue. As well as OSO concerts, VDPAC hosted our Student Composers Reading Session last season. All three concertos on our recently released album, Canadian Soundscapes, were recorded there.
- Vernon Proms has been a popular summer music event for seven years and frequently features artists associated with the OSO.
- Winfield United Church has been the venue for OSO Chorus rehearsals for many years. Singers from all reaches of the Okanagan travel there weekly when preparing for a concert, usually once or twice a season.
The work of the OSO changes on an annual basis and new connections and partnerships are established for specific programs and activities. Past projects have connected us with Indigenous colleagues at the En’owkin Centre, partners from the three Indigenous schools, other entities such as Festivals Kelowna, Okanagan Regional Library, Wentworth Music, and the OSYO with other BC youth orchestras through the Apollo Initiative, a fundraising project in support of youth mental health in BC.
Arts Sector Connections
- Canadian Music Centre (both the national office and the BC branch) provide support and partner with us in a variety of ways, from the rental/loan of music by Canadian composers, to the support and promotion of those composers, to releasing our album, Canadian Soundscapes, on their CentreDiscs label.
- Orchestras Canada “supports, connects, and challenges Canadian orchestras, helping orchestras accomplish together what they cannot do alone.”
- Vancouver Musicians Association Our musicians’ membership in, and the OSO’s affiliation with, the VMA (via the Okanagan Symphony Players Association) is a crucial part of our status as a professional organization.
- Women in Musical Leadership (WML) is a three-year program designed to collectively develop the next generation of female and non-binary conductors and music directors in Canada. OSO Music Director Rosemary Thomson is a Career Mentor within the program.