‘First of many steps’: Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony elects new board

By Christine Clarke and Matt Hutcheson

In an effort to rebuild the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (KWS) a new board was elected to the KWS Association on June 6, said to be “the first of many steps” to rebuilding the organization.

On a Go-Fund-Me page dedicated to the symphony instrumentalists; the group writes they hope the community will continue to support them as the new organization takes shape.

That page, called “Support your KW Symphony Musicians” has raised just over $480,000 of its $2 million goal.

The group says they look forward to playing in even more concert halls, schools and community hubs.

It was back in September of last year, when the K-W Symphony abruptly cancelled its season and filed for bankruptcy. Days after the season was cancelled, the entire board of directors resigned.

The full statement from the group can be read below:

“We are thrilled to announce that on Thursday, June 6, 2024, a new board was elected to the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Association.

This is the first of many steps to rebuilding our beloved organization, and is the direct result of the incredibly hard work of many individuals.

We would like to thank the Central Ontario Musicians’ Association, the KWS Foundation, the numerous community leaders who have met with us and advocated for us, and of course, you, our valued audience members and supporters, for sticking with us these past ten months.

We hope you will continue to do so as our new organization takes shape; donations to the Musicians of the KWS will help us facilitate this transition and allow us to present music in the region as the next steps are undertaken.

We are truly honoured to be able to continue to serve our community, and we look forward to seeing you in even more concert halls, schools and community hubs in the seasons to come.”

Newly elected board member Bill Poole told The Mike Farwell Show the board’s first task will be to work to have the bankruptcy reversed.

“There is a process that includes first of all a proposal to creditors. My understanding is that the proposal will be to pay zero cents on the dollar.” He said. “The major creditors include the KW Symphony Foundation which paid off the bank debt. The musicians who have severance claims and the musicians union.” He added.

Poole said he’s confident the creditors will accept the proposal. Once that’s done, the proposal will go before the courts. Poole is confident the courts will also accept the proposal. After that, the KW Symphony Orchestra Association Inc. can be reestablished and the board can proceed with the next steps to bring the symphony back.

Poole says if everything goes their way, that could happen in the fall. “Maybe the proposal to creditors will be in June, though that’s not in my hands,” he said, “and maybe the court would decide by the end of the summer, don’t know that either. But, in the mean time, we have lots of thinking to do about what shape the symphony orchestra will take in the near future an beyond.”

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