K-W Symphony files for bankruptcy, ceases all operations

By CityNews Kitchener Staff

The curtain is closing for the the Kitchener-Waterloo (K-W) Symphony Orchestra after 78 seasons.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra Association confirmed Thursday that it filed for bankruptcy and ceased all operations immediately. The board of directors of the association also resigned.

The K-W Symphony previously said it needed $2-million by the end of the week to avoid insolvency. That announcement was made after the abrupt cancellation of its upcoming 2023/24 season.

“We are absolutely devastated about this outcome,” said Rachel Smith-Spencer, chair of the board of directors, in a release. “In the last three days, we have appealed to all of our major stakeholders and have exhausted all available avenues to secure the $2M required immediately to continue operations.”

The association is citing unprecedented rising costs and financial instability for the decision.

“The $2-million that was stated in those request for dollars that would have saved the season but not the organization itself,” said Mike Braga, licensed insolvency trustee with BDO Canada. “Certainly, the $2-million would have allowed them to put on the season but it wouldn’t deal with the underlying causes which is the financial pressures that the symphony sees in light of the reduction in terms of ticket sales,” he said.

A GoFundMe was launched this week to support the impacted musicians who are now out of work.

A separate Canada Helps fundraiser has been launched for the K-W Symphony Foundation, which is a separate independent entity that continues to operate.

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