Announced today, The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra has laid off 67 orchestra members, 30 administrative staff, and 14 teachers affiliated with Sistema.
The action is a direct response to the impacts of COVID-19.
“The orchestra business is a very fragile one at the best of times,” said WSO executive director Trudy Schroeder.
“In this time of uncertainty, the WSO needs the support of our community more than ever. Each week we are unable to perform has a profound impact our ability to share great symphonic music.”
“…This virus could not have hit at a worse time in our cash flow for the year…then suddenly no public concerts, no fundraisers, no international travel for guest artists…
“Just wish that those putting together emergency economic stimulus packages for the corporate sector had included a way for cultural groups to access these resources as well. This is more than 100 people to be out of work on March 29. It would be better for everyone if we could keep them employed during this strange and awful time. My job is to get them back to work as soon as possible. Anyone have ideas for me?”
The WSO planned tour of The Netherlands in May but has yet to cancel the tour formally.
Our best wishes go out to the dedicated musicians and staff at the WSO.