Successful Orchestre Symphonique de Longueuil signs 1M$ contract by Billy McDonald
/ September 3, 2003
The former OSMONT is full-steam ahead with
charismatic leader and newfound financial security
The former Orchestre de Montérégie (OSMONT)
officially became the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil on August 3. The name
change earned it a 100,000$ per year contract with the city of Longueuil, while
allowing it to maintain its current mission of promoting classical music
throughout the Montérégie region.
"The newly enlarged city," explained the symphony's
director general Pierrette Guay, "was looking for a major cultural symbol. The
city felt that given its size it needed an orchestra and it made us an offer
that was too good to pass up."
The contract replaces a 40,000$ contract OSMONT had
with SODAC (the Société de développement des arts et de la culture de
Longueuil). The yearly contribution by the city will represent 10% of the
orchestra's annual operating budget.
Though the funds were much appreciated and will be
used by the symphony to consolidate its current projects as well as develop new
ones, Guay mentions that one of the reasons Longueuil offered OSMONT the hefty
contract was that the city recognized it as a successful and financially stable
organization. According to Guay, the symphony has not had a deficit for five
years and has a sell-out ratio of almost 90%. Furthermore, of the
911-seat-capacity in their hall, 710 were subscription tickets during 2002-2003.
So far the symphony has already sold 650 for the 2003-2004 season.
Guay credits a portion of the symphony's success to
an aggressive subscription campaign and a strong complicity between the
orchestra's administration and artistic direction, yet mentions that conductor
and artistic director Marc David deserves praise. "He is," she says, "a dynamic
leader who has an exclusive relationship with his musicians. He is not
autocratic and for this reason he gets more from his musicians." She adds, "He
has warmth and charm and people appreciate him."
The orchestra is hosting a benefit gala on
September 27 at the Sheraton in Montreal. It has managed to increase its
contributions for the event by about 30% each the last two years and is hoping
to do the same this year. Billy McDonald