Xenia Concerts opens up Toronto’s classical music community to neurodiverse and the disabled community with a regular season and concert series. The offerings are not only designed for those audiences; Xenia works with the disability and neurodiverse community in the design and production phases as well.
Their 2023-24 season launches September 23. Xenia’s programming includes two streams of concerts tailored to different audiences. Concerts take place at the Meridian Arts Centre in North York.
Amenities available for all concerts, which take place at the Meridian Arts Centre in North York, include:
- Audience members can get out of their seats, make noise or stim;
- Wheelchair accessible;
- Gender-neutral accessible washrooms;
- Take stretch breaks when needed;
- Flexible seating and a break area.
A venue guide and accessible concert programme are available in PDF for, and fidget toys and noise-cancelling earmuffs are available on request.
September 23: the Sisu Ensemble
Finnish Canadian Soprano Emili Losier and pianist Jenna Richards created Sisu Ensemble after meeting during the pandemic. A love of collaboration brought them together, and they share their joy of music with audiences of all kinds in productions that reach traditional audiences and the general public along with individuals with exceptionalities. The duo has performed at Ottawa Chamberfest, Concerts in Care, Kemptville Historical Society, and for healthcare workers.
At 11 a.m., the Ensemble will perform an adaptive concert. In partnership with TO Live, the season will be launched with a concert that showcases treasures of musical theatre. It’s a programme designed for audience participation, whether that’s singing, clapping or dancing along.
At 2 p.m., the Sisu Ensemble will perform in partnership with Alzheimer Society of Toronto. This concert welcomes and supports members of the dementia, neurodiversity, and disability communities in concert. An intergenerational programme of music spotlights the stories of heroines of various kinds, and their stories of self-discovery and love.
In addition to the amenities listed above for all concerts, the concert presented with the Alzheimer’s Society offers:
- Scent-free environment;
- A chill zone with blankets;
- Sunglasses for people with light sensitivity.
Therapy dogs will be in attendance courtesy of TO Live and One Health.
October 14: The Dior String Quartet
Members of The Dior String Quartet, currently String Quartet in-Residence at the Glenn Gould School, hail from Israel, Korea-Canada, Saint Lucia, and the USA. They were recently declared winner of the 2023 Concert Artist Guild Elmaleh Competition, just the first in a series of wins. They were silver prize winners of the 2021 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition and Bronze Medalists of the 2019 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
The quartet formed in 2018 while studying at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. They’ve gone on to study with established ensembles such as the Pacifica Quartet, and members of the Alban Berg, St. Lawrence, Danish, Artemis, Ébene, and Belcea Quartets.
They pursue projects that align with their values and morals as four musicians of diverse backgrounds.
From 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., and from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., they will perform two concerts that combines classics and newer pieces by Canadian composers with a sense of fun. The family-friendly adaptive concerts are designed to be inclusive and accessible for members of the neurodiverse and disability communities.
More information, including their ticket refund policy, and to buy tickets to all their 2023-24 season events [HERE] at the link.
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