The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has announced the cancellation of all previously scheduled 2020/21 season events.
The announcement comes as ongoing uncertainly surrounds government-mandated COVID-19 closures of concert venues in Ontario, which see arts presenters scrambling to find alternatives.
Despite the cancellations, the TSO hope to offer smaller, in-person events, and continue online offerings throughout the year. Full details on the events will be announced in the fall.
“Replacing the planned 2020/21 season with alternative programming is the most responsible option for the TSO given the uncertainty caused by the pandemic,” said TSO CEO Matthew Loden. “Shifting organizational needs, including the potential for a constant cycle of likely cancellations, erodes the organization’s stability and increases our financial risk.”
According to a press release, the TSO estimates it will lose $11 million in ticket revenue over the 2020/21 season, and are reviewing possible financial scenarios. To help alleviate the shortfall, the orchestra will seek a significant reduction of expenses and new fundraising initiatives.
“As devastating as it is to lose our subscription season,” Loden said, “we are also eager to find unique musical moments in our home at Roy Thomson Hall while we explore how music plays a role in city-building and the well-being of our citizens.”
Unlike many orchestras, the TSO has managed to maintain its orchestra and staff with financial support from the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, the Canada Council for the Arts, as well as independent funders.
“As the world adapts to our new reality, our cherished Orchestra has the opportunity to ignite a passion for extraordinary music with audiences in Toronto in more intimate settings, and to reconnect with our nearest and dearest patrons in unique ways,” said TSO’s new Music Director Gustavo Gimeno.
Subscription holders will see their tickets automatically applied to the TSO’s 2021-22 season. Ticket holders are also being offered the option to donate the value of the season tickets or receive refunds.