As the long-term effects of pandemic takes its toll on mental health, and inflation increases strain on disposable income, access to the arts will become more and more difficult. As disposable income takes a momentary dip, access to the arts will be harder for those who need it most.
The RMSO brings great music to Albertans, whether in-person or through digital content.
To folks who live in an urban centre, it may come as a surprise to learn that the majority of Albertans outside the major centres do not have a local, affordable chance to hear an Orchestra.
The RMSO was created to fill this gap – we believe that accessibility isn’t only about providing a variety of programming, but rather providing a variety of options for Albertans, who are often limited by constraints of geography, to experience live music. In fact, our music director was highlighted by the Calgary Herald Compelling Calgarian in 2019 for this work, and in 2020 was recognized by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta as an Emerging Artist award winner for his work with the RMSO.
We believe that inspiration and encouragement, especially of our young people, cannot happen too early. We want to help every Albertan have the opportunity to hear a live symphony orchestra at least once!
In their first four seasons, the RMSO will have played 50 concerts, including four major outdoor Canada Day events at Spruce Meadows. The first season saw the orchestra impact over 2,500 attendees, the second, close to 4,000; the third season, over 7,500 Albertans were able to experience live orchestral music in their own town. In season 4, the Orchestra took up residence in the new Polaris Centre for the Performing Arts (Balzac, RockyView County).
The fifth season was primarily cancelled due to the pandemic, but we were able to make 3 live/broadcast concerts work during the times when restrictions were relaxed.
Our mandate is to provide high-quality performances of Orchestral Music in the small towns (satellite communities) surrounding Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
To fulfill this, we ensure that our events are held in suitable venues in a number of towns, that our concerts appeal to both first-time and seasoned concertgoers, and that ticket prices remain affordable (even FREE for families and individuals who find themselves in difficult circumstances).
The RMSO takes the music to outlying communities, allowing more Albertans to enjoy great music close to home. Whether families with young children, Seniors who don’t drive the highways at night, or folks who just prefer to support local options, the RMSO makes classical music accessible.
No shushing and dirty looks here. We know that children sometimes get the wiggles, and we are happy to accommodate kids being kids (quietly). Many parents bring a colouring book and snacks for young ones.
First-time attendees and experienced concertgoers appreciate the relaxed atmosphere of the RMSO.
It’s very rare that a family can enjoy a night out for under $100. Plus, children’s tickets are always $10 or less.
Thanks to our generous donors, the RMSO is able to offer a generous number of free tickets to the Royal Canadian Legion, as well as other social agencies. This ensures the most discreet and highest-impact distribution to families who are struggling most.
We love to involve local musicians and local choirs. We rotate the opportunity between communities, with performances from local groups from Okotoks and Strathmore in our first two seasons. All of our soloists are locals, or have local connections. We believe in showcasing the wonderful local talent we have right here!
Our Musicians are our lifeblood. Without a dedicated core of players, a Symphony ceases to exist. Our players come from many walks of life. Some are professional musicians, many are teachers, others are professionals in the medical, legal, and accounting fields. We have teachers, University professors, doctors, nurses, lawyers, lab assistants, students, mechanics, plumbers, police officers, and EMT’s.
We are all united by a desire to not only make wonderful music amongst ourselves (collegiality is important, but not our primary goal), but, more importantly, but a desire to ensure accessibility of the great masterworks written for the Symphony Orchestra for all Albertans, regardless of geography, socio-economic status, and age.
Our budget is made up primarily of ticket sales and private donations, with the usual government and foundation support.
There is a near endless list of ways to Support a Symphony Orchestra.