London, On – Orchestra London is a community treasure. Ample and reliable support, and occasional relief, are responsibilities we must accept.
The orchestra has partnered with Unity Project for six years in mounting our annual fundraiser, A Christmas Carol. This event has raised tens of thousands of dollars to help relieve homelessness in our city and also gives back to our community through a pay-what-you-can admission. The annual effort behind the scenes is significant on the part of Unity and the orchestra’s administration—and this is not the orchestra’s only such contribution to the city.
This year, A Christmas Carol welcomed over 1000, all hoping it was not to be the last opportunity to see our orchestra perform. After many ovations, we all left feeling deeply connected to our community through both music and compassion.
Our experience demonstrates how arts and culture are equally as valuable as social services and function interdependently for a healthy and vibrant community.
There are some 60 good people’s livelihoods on the line and at a particularly brutal time of year. We must not turn our back on them and the amount of money at stake is entirely affordable. They have already contributed and they are owed. To not pay, would be to take advantage.
Once these short term needs are met, let us pause to think about the future of the orchestra.
Amanda Grzyb, Chair – Unity Project Board of Directors
Chuck Lazenby, Unity Project Executive Director
Photo by Agata Lesnik