K-W Symphony elects new board as it prepares for possible comeback

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has formed a new board of directors and is planning to one day restart its programming. (Submitted by Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony - image credit)
The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has formed a new board of directors and is planning to one day restart its programming. (Submitted by Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony - image credit)

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony has a new board of directors on Thursday to help reverse the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.

Bill Poole, a member of the newly formed board elected during a meeting of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra Association on Thursday, says they still have to meet for the first time and elect a chair, secretary and treasurer, but plans are already underway to send a consumer proposal to creditors to stop the bankruptcy proceedings.

"If it's approved, then it would be sent on to a court and then we'd have to wait for the judge to decide if this was acceptable and if the the organization could begin operations again and it would begin operations debt free," Poole told CBC News in an interview Friday

He says after that, the board would have some challenges ahead of them, including figuring out the organization's finances.

The symphony "at the moment has zero money," he said.

"The only assets are some instruments, musical instruments and a music library, which is not worth much."

Poole says the new board members will also discuss a new way to operate going forward.

"Some kind of a new business model will have to be developed that we can go forward with that is absolutely sustainable and to avoid the life-threatening financial situation that [took place] before," he said.

"But I don't know exactly what that difference will look like because that's going to need lots of discussion by the board and the players and other stakeholders."

Season halted abruptly in 2023

The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra abruptly cancelled its season in September 2023, just days before its musicians were set to take the stage. Days later, the symphony filed for bankruptcy and the board of directors resigned.

In January 2023, the symphony had asked regional council for a one time fund of $100,000, telling councillors the orchestra was planning for 50 per cent growth in the next two years, but were struggling from the impact of the pandemic.

The region did not grant that funding request, though in April 2023, the K-W Symphony did receive a $385,725 grant from the region's key cultural institutions grant program.