LSM Newswire

Friday, July 4, 2014

Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute to be created and developed at Whistler

Whistler and Vancouver, B.C. – The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is pleased to announce that the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and the Vancouver Symphony Society (VSS) have entered into an agreement to create and develop the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute at Whistler (VSOIW). The new institute will capitalize on the brand and expertise of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) to create an internationally-renowned orchestral residence program. The official public announcement will be made at Whistler’s Olympic Plaza by Whistler Mayor, Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 as part of the opening for the VSO which is performing in Whistler from July 1 to July 5.

 “The RMOW is committed to expanding arts and cultural initiatives consistent with the Whistler Community Cultural Plan and the Cultural Tourism Development Strategy, as well as supporting new learning opportunities consistent with the recommendations of the Whistler Learning and Education Task Force,” said Mayor Wilhelm-Morden. “We are excited to see the introduction and evolution of a youth program in Whistler that fosters musical education and cultural experiences.”

The VSS will work to develop, promote and produce the inaugural VSOIW in the summer of 2015, and will produce the program over a three-year period. It is anticipated the program will start modestly in year one, and progressively increase intake in subsequent years. "After nearly a year of discussions, the Vancouver Symphony Society is pleased to see the solidification of a partnership with the Resort Municipality of Whistler by way of this agreement,” said Jeff Alexander, VSS President and CEO. “This is an opportunity for the VSS to create a new and distinct educational activity by offering regional, national and international students the opportunity to hone their musical skills while studying with members of the VSO in the beautiful landscape of Whistler.”

The VSOIW will target experienced young adults (aged 15-22 years), who would audition as part of the application process to the VSOIW.  The successful applicants will participate in an intensive program including private lessons, master-classes, chamber music, and orchestral rehearsals and performances, with instruction from members of the VSO. The RMOW has allocated $175,000 over three years as development funds to the VSS for the services related to development, planning, promotion and production of the VSOIW from 2015-2017.  The RMOW and the VSS are still refining the operation and execution of the program, including defining specific dates that will support the Whistler resort programming already scheduled.  It is anticipated that the program will use existing venues within the RMOW’s boundaries appropriate to the cultural and educational needs to accommodate both teaching and housing requirements for the students and faculty of the VSOIW.

 About the Vancouver Symphony 
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) was founded in 1919. Its purpose is to enrich and transform lives through music by presenting passionate, high-quality performances of classical, popular and culturally diverse music, creating meaningful engagement with audiences of all ages and backgrounds wherever we perform and developing and delivering inspirational education and community programs. The Vancouver Symphony Society (VSS) governs and supports the VSO.  Within the Lower Mainland, the VSO has a very active youth program: they work with schools to reach over 50,000 students every year. This program ranges from concerts for elementary school students to master classes and clinics for students at the University of British Columbia and the Vancouver Academy of Music. The VSS also oversees the operations of the VSO School of Music in downtown Vancouver.

About the Resort Municipality of Whistler
The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is Whistler’s local government led by an elected council and administered by an executive team and staff on behalf of 9,824 residents and two million annual visitors. The RMOW manages municipal planning and development, park and Village operations, sports facilities and recreation, public utilities and environmental services, bylaws and enforcement, fire rescue, fiscal planning and financial services, legislative services, human resources, communications and the administration of the Whistler2020 Comprehensive Sustainability Plan and Whistler’s Official Community Plan. The RMOW collaborates with in-resort and external partners to create visitor experiences and enrich community life. Whistler’s vision is to be the premier mountain resort community as it moves toward sustainability. Whistler was the proud Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

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