Many have already commented about the news of Orchestra London. I’m probably just going to echo what a few others have said but I need to get my thoughts into this.
For years Orchestra London has had challenges. They have attempted to move (although slowly IMHO) to try and bring a new audience base in. Centennial hall is not the ideal venue for this sort of event. I echo what many say, I tend to avoid going to events there as the seating is just so darn uncomfortable.
What angers me the most is that it looks like someone knew of growing problems in the early summer. And yet it was kept quiet, I assume one of the reasons would be because of a campaign for Mayor starting up.
Relying on a single large source of funding is always a risky thing. When the funding fails to come through, stalling on your required financial report shows a lack of transparency to your own staff, the city and the public as a whole. There are many other groups and organizations that get city funding. This sort of thing unfortunately tars them with the same brush in some circles.
This has put council in a no win situation. Hopefully at the very least a solution can be worked out by council and staff to prevent this from happening again. For now I hope the following happens;
The City Of London;
From what I understand that city is on the hook for some of this amount owing. At the very least pay the staff what they are owed, and honor any other financial commitments as is required. It’s going to cost us far more if lawsuits start flying.
If financial reports are late then alarm bells need to start going off. (For the record I don’t know if was happening).
Do not extend any more funding until a plan can come up from an organization that hopefully can rise from the old. The artists themselves are starting to represent themselves on social media and this can only help to showcase what the orchestra does.
Look at relationships with other arts and community organizations in town as well as other Orchestra’s in the area.
Find ways to bring the music to people who may have preconceived notions. For example many people love movie soundtracks but then say they have never listened to classical music.
Update Dec 18th 2014
Council has decided to follow’s staff advice and not pay any more funds to Orchestra London. This is does not surprise and in light of more information since I wrote the original post it makes sense. This is definitely a case of what I would love verses what is sensible for the community.