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THE SCOOP | Toronto Symphony Announces Surprise $3.875-Million Gift

By Michael Vincent on October 23, 2020

TSO/Bob & Francine Barrett (Photos: left: Jag Gundu; right: courtesy of the TSO)

The Toronto Symphony has announced a significant $3.875 M donation from TSO subscribers Bob and Francine Barrett, of the Barrett Family Foundation.

With ticket revenues all but done for Toronto’s namesake orchestra, the news is particularly well-timed.

“As long-time subscribers and donors to the TSO, we know how transformative music can be to a person’s life,” said Bob and Francine Barrett. “We want to encourage and extend the extraordinary community and education initiatives already underway at the TSO because we passionately believe that music is both a personal inspiration, and also an impactful community-building force.”

The gift will be distributed over five years and used to support the TSO’s Education & Community Engagement programs, including the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TSYO). They have also invited other TSO supporters to contribute by offering $250,000 every year in matching funds.

“On behalf of our musicians and our many community partners, the school educators we work with, and our new and growing audiences, we offer our heartfelt gratitude,” said TSO’s CEO Matthew Loden in a press release statement. “Bob and Francine’s philanthropic investments in education initiatives and institutions across Canada make them truly impactful leaders in our community.”

The gift mark the second major gift from TSO patrons in just over a year. The orchestra secured a $10 million donation from the estate of Tom and Mary Beck in October 2019.

In recognition of the gift, the TSO’s conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser will now be known as the Barrett Principal Education Conductor & Community Ambassador.

The Barrett Family Foundation has supported a broad range of organizations, including Humber College, Highway of Heroes, and World Vision Canada.

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Michael Vincent
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