Make Music More 

 

As the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra embarks on its journey to our 100th anniversary, we’re committing to a 10-year plan that addresses the changes we’re facing, the successes we’re celebrating, and the initiatives we need to support.  

Opus is a word that means so much to musicians -it’s literal meaning is a large scale artistic work of music. From an opus number we can tell you what period of a composer’s life the piece comes from, we instantly know where it falls into the repertoire, and we may even be able to give insight into what to expect from music in that opus.In preparation for the SSO’s centenary, we have large scale artistic work to do.  In launching Opus 100, the SSO is acknowledging and addressing the work that creates a triumphant 100th anniversary in 2031.  

 

The SSO will be launching a season specific fundraising campaign in September 2020 to help us weather the challenges of the season as we adjust for the pandemic.

 

Artistic Growth

The SSO commits to long-term planning for artistic growth of the orchestra and our music community.

The SSO is about to change; over the course of the next 10 years, nearly half of our beloved musicians may be retiring.  To ensure that Saskatchewan has a distinct world-class artistic musical voice, the SSO has to recruit world-class talent.  We have to bring the next generation to our city not only to play for the orchestra but to foster our own next generation, to bring diverse and distinct voices to our community, and to play a vital and important role in the arts ecosystem of Canada.

This kind of transition also means we need to work with our music community to ensure that the next ten years be transformative.  We need to ensure that we work with our musicians to address their needs in this time of change and find ways to support them.

How do we get there?

  • Invest financially in our musicians and creative projects
  • Grow our programming, allowing us to hire musicians more frequently
  • Create opportunities that allow musicians to make a living in Saskatoon
  • Work with musicians to facilitate the changes ahead
  • Create mentorship opportunities for emerging artists to develop their careers

 

Developing the Next Generation

Saskatchewan needs to plant deep roots of music education and enjoyment for everyone. 

As the SSO changes, so does our audience and the people impacted by our work.  In ten years’ time, our audience will be very different and we must undertake significant audience development initiatives to ensure that orchestral music continues to connect us.  

Our musicians are the leaders in the seeding of the next generation of musicians and music lovers.  We need to ensure that every child has access to developmental music education. With a strong music education network, our community will continue to reap youth who have learned about self-esteem, determination, persistence, and the joy of making music.

We make a commitment to the emerging artists of our province that the SSO will be there to create with you.  We want to nourish a musical ecosystem that creates possibilities and allows young artists to feel proud to call Saskatoon home.

How do we get there?

  • Invest in music literacy programming, such as Link Up
  • Create opportunities to enrich the experiences for local music students
  • Invest in new student music programming
  • Invest in audience development programming, including launch of Easy Seats programming, participation programming
  • Invest in new marketing initiatives and brand development
  • Launch Centre Stage outdoor concert aimed at connecting community musicians and SSO players in a free outdoor concert
  • Launch Muziko Project to connect with the rich ethno-cultural musical community
  • Increase our programming aimed at touring across the province for performances and outreach projects

 

Investing in the Organization

The SSO achieves great things thanks to the people who give of their ideas and hard work to make our orchestra special.

Growing should mean creating access. Making the SSO accessible to as many people as possible is more vital now than ever. It’s important for us to quickly adapt and completely rethink how audiences enjoy music. Through evolving technology and programming, we will bring the SSO to more people locally, regionally, provincially, nationally, and internationally.

We must grow our staff.  The amazing team that have brought this organization into this new era all started with no experience in running an orchestra – like prairie grass we dug in, created a great working environment, and raised ourselves in a drought.  

Building the next generation and growing our music community through this transformative change will take significant time and energy.  Our administrative team needs to be leaders of change through this transformative era. We need to create opportunities for the next generation of arts managers – we have to ensure that the organizational strength is ingrained in how we nurture the people who will lead the SSO in the years to come.

Our staff need to have the capacity to be creative or all of this hard work will have been for naught.

How do we get there?

  • Creation of the Digital Concert Stream
  • Invest financially in administrative staffing for the organization
  • Create entry level positions for mentoring the next generation of music community leaders
  • Present workshops and conferences for our local music community on relevant topics with impact
  • Add two new staff to the administrative team in the next year

 

To face the transformational years ahead, it’s important that the SSO be forward thinking and continue to be ambitious about the impact and importance of music in our community. We need to think and plan for long term success and dream big about the exciting work ahead.

Think ahead to the opening night of our 100th season – sitting in those seats will be some of the luckiest people in our country – people who reap the benefit of what an orchestra can do for its community.  You can play an important part in the emotions of that night by making a donation to the SSO’s Opus 100 campaign.