How do they do it? For a baroque orchestra, with a healthy but modest audience, Tafelmusik has managed to maintain 18 straight years as one of the most financially sound arts groups in the country.
Announced at Tafelmusik’s Annual General Meeting yesterday, Canada’s largest period orchestra and choir have reported a consecutive operating surplus of $51,000.
Tafelmusik also achieved their highest subscription revenue in five years, and the second-highest number of single tickets sold in the orchestra’s history.
The results represent overall concert revenues of almost $1.9 million and an increase of 12% over the 2017 fiscal year.
“Tafelmusik’s 18th successive surplus is a remarkable achievement for a performing arts organization, particularly within the context of the orchestra’s ambitious artistic programs and extensive domestic and international touring schedule,” said Board Member Augusto Patmore in a press release statement.
One of the biggest hurdles facing orchestras with an international audience is how they can scale themselves outside of their home cities without breaking the budget. Tafelmusik spent five weeks on the road last year touring Alison Mackay’s multimedia creation J.S. Bach: The Circle of Creation, which now been has been seen in 25 cities around the world since it’s premiere in 2015. The orchestra’s new Music Director Elisa Citterio also made her touring debut in November, leading Tafelmusik for six performances in Québec, New Brunswick, PEI, and Nova Scotia. Tafelmusik travelled down under to Austrailia with stops in Perth, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Sydney. Those trips don’t come cheap.
Other arts groups in Toronto need to take note. Whatever they are doing, it’s working.