UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a statement by Noel Edison.
Following the announcement last Friday that conductor Noel Edison had been fired from his role at the Elora Festival and Elora Singers, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (TMC) have announced the conductor has formally resigned from his role as Artistic Director.
In a press release statement, the TMC thanked him for his “21 years of artistic excellence with the TMC.”
The news follows the previous announcement by the TMC back on February 28, that Edison would be taking a personal leave of absence from his role as conductor of The Toronto Mendelsohn Choir and the Elora Singers.
The TMC hired an investigator early in the year to look into claims that Edison may have acted inappropriately in his professional capacity as a conductor. The Board has since met to discuss the investigator’s findings, and have accepted Edison’s resignation, effective immediately.
“I am saddened to be leaving my post under the present circumstances,” said Edison in a statement. “The acts of which I am accused were, at the time, considered inconsequential by all involved. And none of them were of a criminal nature. It has been one of the great privileges of my life to have been the conductor of this outstanding ensemble for the last twenty-one years.”
Ludwig Van has received details from a source who contributed to the investigation by the TMC. The source, who does not want to be named but was a member of the choir, stated that he had “…experienced first-hand a culture of regular and permitted harassment (verbal and physical) from the Artistic Director, Noel Edison. While these aggrievements have taken place semi-regularly, it is most often that harassment occurs around blurred lines, power-play, etc.”
The source outlined instances of inappropriate sexual advances towards him by Edison, and included unwanted groping, kissing, and sexually explicit discussions. All of these events are alleged to have taken place during various post-concert parties held at Edison’s former home in Toronto and/or his residence in Elora.
In response to the investigator’s report, which has not been released to the public, the TMC is currently reviewing their anti-harassment policies and of the chorister guidelines.
“The TMC’s Creating a Safe Creative Space initiative will include updating policies; providing more education and training to TMC staff and singers on the policies and on the organization’s expectations about mutual respect; and ensuring that TMC’s process for addressing complaints is clearly understood.”
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