Ad Astra – Capital Campaign Booklet

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Building to New Heights

When we reach for the stars, we strive to do more, to do better, to be the best we can possibly be. The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is Building to New Heights through programs focused on pursuing artistic excellence, strengthening our community, and ensuring a sustainable future. Your donation to the Calgary Philharmonic Foundation through the Ad Astra campaign helps the Orchestra realize these goals. When we work together, there are no limits to what we can achieve.


Building Artistic Excellence The Calgary Philharmonic is driven by an uncompromising pursuit of artistic excellence. Our musicians tirelessly dedicate themselves toward this goal through millions of hours spent practising and mastering their craft. Similarly, our community has invested in this pursuit through generations of financial support, attendance, and volunteerism. The pursuit of excellence — whether it be in the arts, sport, or business — is at the core of our civic identity and is part of our shared legacy. Calgarians aspire to be excellent in their own professional and personal lives, and realize the potential for music to nurture, inspire, and aid in those endeavours. By donating to the Calgary Philharmonic, you are giving to one of the city’s oldest and most established cultural institutions with the capacity to present world-class music and artists in Calgary.

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Full Season, Concert Series, or Individual Concert Create memorable musical experiences for thousands of Calgarians by supporting an entire season, a concert series, or an annual concert. Our concert series are conveniently organized around themes to match the tastes of donors and audiences alike, from classical greats to pop favourites: Masterworks, Showcase, Discovery, Pops, Symphony Sundays for Kids, and more. With your donation, a season, series, or concert is named in honour of you or your loved one.

Endowed and Named Orchestra Chairs When musicians join the Calgary Philharmonic they grace us with the gift of beautiful music and become part of our community as teachers, neighbours, and friends. By endowing a musician’s chair, you help us recruit and retain top musical talent. Your donation is an investment in the Orchestra and in Calgary’s future as an international, metropolitan, world-class city.

Guest Conductors When it comes to the interpretation and expression of a piece of music, the role of the conductor cannot be overstated. Every conductor brings their unique personality, culture, and musical training to the table when leading the Orchestra, and leaves behind a fresh perspective on the music. Each year, we invite guest conductors to lead the Orchestra, offering new listening experiences for our audiences and growth opportunities for our musicians. Your donation introduces Calgarians to a dynamic and diverse range of conductors.

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Guest Artists We invite a number of guest artists to appear as soloists with our Orchestra each Season. Sometimes these guest artists are virtuosos such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman. Other times they’re acclaimed musicians from non-classical genres (rock, country, pop, folk, jazz, Indigenous, etc.) such as Paul Brandt or Tanya Tagaq. Although each guest artist brings their own sound, story, and style to the concert hall, they share an artistic excellence that captivates, fascinates, and inspires audiences. Your donation brings some of the world’s best musicians to our city to provide Calgarians with once-in-a-lifetime musical experiences.

New Orchestral Works We are recognized as a national leader in the creation of new Canadian works. In order for orchestral music to advance as an art form, living composers need to be supported and commissioned to write new music. Canada is home to talented composers from diverse cultural and artistic backgrounds. Collectively, their creativity is reshaping the sounds of orchestral music. Your donation helps support Canadian composers, and continues to cement our reputation as a leader in the creation of new orchestral music.

Chorus The Calgary Philharmonic Chorus is a group of more than 100 volunteer singers selected through a rigorous audition process and led by our Chorus Master. Thanks to the Chorus, we can explore rich repertoire combining choral and orchestral forces that is especially powerful in its capacity to inspire listeners. The critically acclaimed Chorus is recognized as one of Canada’s premiere vocal ensembles. Your donation ensures adequate support for this treasured cultural resource in Calgary.


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14,000 students Engaged Through education concerts Per Year


Guest Artists + Conductors Presented Each Season

Calgary Phil by the Numbers Annual numbers based on an average of five years


150,000 Annual ATTENDANCE at concerts + events


Live performances Each Season

190,000 online Video views Per Year

Your donation to the Calgary Philharmonic foundation has impact! $1 million can grow to

$2 Million over 10 years




Building Community Music has the power to foster belonging and remind us of our shared humanity. The Calgary Philharmonic is vital to our community. Teachers rely on our education programs to supplement and enhance the music curriculum. Local charities rely on free concert tickets for clients who might not otherwise be able to afford the cost of experiencing a live orchestra. Retirement homes rely on our Live-streams and Open Rehearsals to make live concert experiences accessible. Simply put, the Orchestra is thoroughly woven into the fabric of our community, and Calgarians from all walks of life depend on our programs. Your donation helps build and enhance the social capacity of our city both inside and outside the concert hall.

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Accessibility We offer ticket programs and concerts specifically designed to remove barriers and make the Orchestra more accessible. Our HeartStrings program donates concert tickets to local charities and social service organizations whose clients experience financial and/or social barriers (low-income households, recent immigrants, etc.). We also take the Orchestra out of the concert hall and into different communities through our Outreach Concerts. Each year, these concerts reach thousands of Calgarians who might not have the opportunity to visit the Jack Singer Concert Hall. Our specially designed ‘Relaxed Concerts’ transform the concert hall into an inclusive space that accommodates Calgarians of all ages, abilities, and neurodivergencies. Your donation gives more people the opportunity to experience live orchestral music.

Education Concert Series Our Education Concerts welcome thousands of students into the Jack Singer Concert Hall where many will experience live classical music for the first time. The artistic program is specifically designed to teach students about a central theme (music, animals, the environment, etc.). The concerts are lighthearted, fun, and encourage audience participation. With decades of proven success, our Education Concerts have become a trusted and invaluable resource for teachers. Your donation contributes to the overall health and vitality of Alberta’s music curriculum. In addition to supporting our Education Concerts, your contribution also helps subsidize the costs of tickets and transportation for economically disadvantaged schools.

Music Education in Schools Music education is one of the most beneficial and enriching learning experiences for children, with proven benefits linked to healthy brain development. A quality music education, however, is not available to all young people and may be too expensive for some families. By working closely with local schools and teachers, we bring high-quality musical performances and mentorship experiences directly into the classroom. Musicians from the Orchestra travel to schools to perform for, inspire, and coach students who benefit from meeting with and learning directly from professional artists. Your donation makes music education accessible in our city, and helps foster lifelong connections between the Orchestra and the next generation of listeners.


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Regional Touring The Prairies are a wide and vast geography, and we feel a social responsibility to better engage audiences living in surrounding rural and regional areas. Our vision is to tour and perform in select parts of Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan. These regional tours would involve partnerships with local arts organizations, artists, and community initiatives in an effort to create the most meaningful experiences. Your donation helps this vision become a reality, sharing our professional orchestra with rural and small communities who do not have the same opportunities as Calgarians to enjoy live orchestral music.

Open Rehearsals Students and seniors enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the Orchestra at several Open Rehearsals each Season. These offer a particularly rich learning experience for high school students who might be considering a professional career in the arts. Without these opportunities, the work, practice habits, and preparation of professional artists can easily be overlooked. Open Rehearsals are also accessible for seniors who cannot attend evening performances. There are many proven health benefits associated with listening to music as we grow older, from alleviating loneliness, to combatting memory loss. Your donation subsidizes ticket costs so that a greater number of Calgary’s students and seniors can attend and benefit from our Open Rehearsals.

Future Audiences The future health and vibrancy of orchestral music depends on its ability to reach the next generation of listeners. Cpossibilities is our ticket program for audiences age 13 to 29. Those who enrol in the program receive two concert tickets at a discounted rate of $15 each. In the short term, your donation allows us to make concert tickets affordable for young Calgarians. In the long term, your donation helps build a sustainable relationship between the Orchestra and the community.

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Building Innovation + Capacity The Calgary Philharmonic belongs to all of us. It is primarily funded by our community, run by our community, and serves our community. We inspire, delight, challenge, and unite the community. Our combined efforts have produced one of Canada’s most celebrated live music ensembles and, with your help, we will build on this foundation. To continue to reach more people in Calgary and around the world, our initiatives to support innovation and increase capacity help secure the long-term health, strength, and resiliency of our Orchestra.


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Live-streaming Using the services of an award-winning video production company and state-of-the-art audio recording technologies, we broadcast select concerts for free to anyone across the world with an Internet connection. Live-streaming is one of the ways we elevate the international profile of our Orchestra and our city. Moreover, as new generations of listeners increasingly use digital technologies to discover and listen to music, we are positioned as a leader in the recording and distribution of orchestral music. Live-streaming also helps overcome the financial, geographic, cognitive, and mobility-related barriers that prevent some audiences from accessing orchestral music. Your donation helps share this gift with everyone, everywhere. With your support, we can produce high-quality digital concert experiences more often and share them worldwide.

Greatest Needs Listeners might be familiar with our Orchestra as it appears onstage, but less familiar with the day-to-day operations involved with planning and executing a season consisting of more than 100 concerts, 20 conductors, and 50 guest artists in multiple venues each year. Your donation to our Greatest Needs fund helps the Orchestra achieve the many pragmatic and practical tasks that underpin world-class performances and inspire bold artistic dreams in our city.

Have an Idea? If you would like to donate toward a new project idea with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, then we would like to hear your vision!

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