Orchestras Canada/Orchestres Canada
Orchestras Canada/Orchestres Canada (founded and known until 1998 as Association of Canadian Orchestras/Association des orchestres canadiens) is a national service organization that provides support for Canada's professional, semiprofessional, community, chamber and youth orchestras. It was initiated in 1971 and formally established in 1972 at a Winnipeg conference. Currently, Orchestra Canada's membership comprises over 130 orchestras, about 200 organizations with approximately 200 individual members. To fulfil its mission of providing leadership and service to Canada's orchestras and ensembles in areas of information, training and professional development, education and outreach, and employment, the OC secretariat, based in Toronto, offers a range of publications: the periodical OC News (begun in 1973 and titled Orchestra Canada until 1998), an annual directory of members and related information issued 5 times a year; various handbooks and guides; The Job Board ( formerly Opus), an employment information newsletter, and an e-newsletter entitled Orchestra News/Info Orchestras.
The secretariat maintains a Resource Centre that supplies research and information services. In 1992 it began a professional training program for fundraising and marketing managers (12 participants were accepted for the 1996-97 year), and in 1996, held a 6-month conductor training residency program that developed into annual conductor-training workshops. In order to address issues that concern the Canadian orchestral community with a strong and informed voice, OC annually collects, compiles and analyzes data submitted by its members to prepare summary reports, and it presents briefs and position papers to government ministries, departments, task forces and committees. Its biennial conferences in various locations, regional and provincial committees, and volunteer committee network all reinforce the organization's national scope. Administered by a volunteer board and a paid executive director, OC had been funded by revenues from its publications, members' fees, individual and corporate donations, sponsorships, and by grants from the CANADA COUNCIL and the federal and provincial governments. Orchestras Canada still receives project grants from the Canada Council.