On Monday evening, January 13, 2014, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir held its Annual General Meeting for the 2012-2013 season (Sep 1, 2012 to Aug 31, 2013). TMC Board Chair Michael Fricker reported on the Choir’s year, highlighting the Choir’s critically-acclaimed performances while reminding attendees of the very competitive entertainment and donation landscape in which the Choir operates. Artistic Director Noel Edison and Executive Director Cynthia Hawkins also spoke to the attendees.
In the 2012-2013 season, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performed 23 concerts: 13 concerts with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall; five of its own season concerts performed at Koerner Hall, Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, and St. Paul’s Basilica; two guest performances at summer music festivals; and three free concerts, including Luminato Festival with the TSO. During the Good Friday Sacred Music concert the TMC gave the world premiere of the TMC-commissioned work by Canadian composer Timothy Corlis, God So Loved the World. During the 2012-2013 season the TMC also live-streamed two concerts, drawing an audience from across Canada —Vancouver Island to Sydney, Nova Scotia—and as far afield as Phnom Penh, Vietnam.
TMC’s outreach and education programs include Singsation Saturdays and the Emerging Conductors program. In 2012-2013, the TMC hosted five well-attended Singsation Saturday choral workshops for local singers. Singers come together, from across the GTA and with different levels of choral experience, to read through major choral works, led at each workshop by well-respected guest conductors. The 2012-2013 roster of guest conductors included Mark Vuorinen of Grand Philharmonic Chorus, Jurgen Petrenko of Toronto Classical Singers, and Patricia Wright of Metropolitan United Church.
The Emerging Conductors program comprised the 3 rd annual Choral Conductors’ Symposium, led by Noel Edison, and the Associate Conductor position held by Matthew Otto. The Choral Conductors’ Symposium brought together five conductors from British Columbia, Ontario, Denver (Colorado), and Rochester (New York) to work with Noel Edison, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the professional chamber ensemble The Elora Festival Singers during an intensive week-long workshop in January.
The TMC ended 2012-2013 on stable financial footing. Single ticket sales increased over 2011-2012 and overall concert revenue was steady. With operational revenues of $760,642 and operational expenses of $809.045, the net operational loss of $48,403 was covered by TMC Legacy Fund investment revenue. The TMC Legacy Fund was established in 2010 to provide for the long-term health of the organization and the total portfolio currently stands at $500,000. The goal of the TMC organization is to get on stronger financial footing so that revenues from the Legacy Fund can be re-invested to secure stronger growth in this fund to provide for future endeavors.
TMC revenues are: 32% from concerts (including ticket sales, guest appearance fees and performance sponsorships); 29% from individual and corporate donations; 19% from government grants; 13% from special fundraising events; and 7% from other sources.
The TMC is grateful for support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, and many corporate and individual donors.
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