Online Learning Series


In place of our live 2020 conference, we’re offering free to members a series of online learning events under the banner Re-launch. We’ll feature a number of our original conference presenters, along with new special events specifically designed to help your orchestra adapt to the new normal and to prepare for a successful and resilient relaunch. We’ve re-directed conference travel bursaries (supported by the Canada Council for the Arts) to make this programming possible. Check back here frequently for updates on what we have planned next. To register for Linda Nazareth’s session on May 25th, please click here. For all other events, please register below.

May 25th: Orchestras in a Post-COVID-19 World

Monday, May 25th: 1pm – 2pm Eastern Time. Economist and futurist Linda Nazareth shares current strengths, weaknesses, trends, opportunities and threats for the orchestral sector as we rally a community of support around our orchestras. Join Linda as she explores ideas and actions to help orchestras during the current shutdown, in a physically-distanced mid-term, and in a post-vaccine long-term. This session will cover social factors, economic factors, and the evolution of the orchestra as a ‘workplace’, in all senses of the word. Registration for this session is open, and free to people affiliated with OC member organizations.

May 29th: Scenario Planning in the Time of COVID-19

Friday, May 29th, 1pm – 2:15pm Eastern Time: The COVID-19 crisis is affecting the arts and culture sector in an unprecedented way. Amidst an uncertain and seemingly ever-shifting environment, organizations must continue to respond to immediate challenges presented by the crisis while attempting to understand the potential implications of the crisis for next month, next season, and beyond.

Susan Nelson and Bailey Hoar of TDC will help participants think about how scenario planning can support more productive conversations and informed decision-making. Drawing on TDC’s conversations with leaders of nonprofit organizations from across the country, the session will outline how to develop scenarios that sit at the intersection of public health, audience demand, and programming; posit questions for leaders to consider as they refine their scenarios; and share how continued scenario planning can support organizations’ long-term recovery and repositioning. Register here.

June 1st: Audience Building While Our Doors Are Closed

Monday, June 1st, 1pm – 2pm Eastern Time: Our organizations are on pause, and the only thing we’ve been able to count on is uncertainty. Staying on our patrons’ minds is critical as we position ourselves for reopening (whatever that looks like), and many organizations have been using digital content to do so. Can we further focus these efforts in ways that do more than keep us top-of-mind, but also strengthen long-term relationships and even plant the seeds for new ones?

Join psychologist and statistician, Bob Harlow, to consider what strategic audience engagement can look like in our current circumstances, including how to identify target audience segments and build out strategies to engage them. The objective: to stimulate thoughts for your own discussions by providing examples of how organizations built successful audience-building strategies outside performance halls. In so doing, we hope to help you identify how to focus your own closed-door engagement efforts, targeting specific kinds of content to specific audiences in a way that strengthens bonds with them. Register here.

June 8th: The Long Runway to Return

Monday, June 8th, 1pm – 2pm Eastern Time: Anchor institutions are enduring, place-based organizations that play a vital role in the social and economic success of their communities. Arts and culture organizations can take on the mantle of anchor institutions. Around the world, enduring enterprises including museums and performing arts centers, theater companies and community-based arts centers employ artists, engage companies, activate community, and pursue social justice issues through deep engagement while also driving important economic impact as well as secondary benefits through ancillary expenditures.

Join AMS Research’s Steven Wolff to look forward and reimagine how orchestras can connect with people (artists, employees, board members, partners, audiences and communities), redesign programs and services, and reinvent business models. Register here.

How to Produce a Virtual Ensemble Project

As the arts world looks to reinvent itself in the face of the continuing shutdown, it’s been inspirational to see orchestras across Canada recording themselves and making music together from their own homes. Making this kind of online content isn’t for the faint-hearted: from click tracks to synchronizing video to formatting for different social platforms, there a few tricks to learn. Donovan Seidle at the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra has put together a series of video tutorials on how to create a project like this. Resources from this event are available here.

Fundraising and Marketing in a Time of Crisis

On April 17th, Orchestras Canada hosted a panel discussion with senior members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s staff team: Jeff Alexander (President & CEO), Dale Hedding (VP Development) and Ryan Lewis (VP Marketing & Sales). We recommend listening to the recording of the event, as it’s packed full of useful fundraising and marketing approaches, for all times, but particularly for during the current crisis. We picked out five (plus one bonus) tips from the discussion to share.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Team

Jeff Alexander, President & CEO; Dale Hedding, VP Development; Ryan Lewis, VP Marketing & Sales. More…

Donovan Seidle

Donovan Seidle is an interactive audio provider based in Calgary. He has worked in music performance and production for most of his life, and as Assistant Concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, performs regularly. He has explored jazz, blues, fiddling and noise-rock in addition to the more typical orchestral, chamber and solo ventures. More…

Linda Nazareth

Linda Nazareth is an economist, futurist and expert on the future of work. Linda’s audiences have spanned a range of audiences, all of whom have benefited from the way that she can take huge ideas and distill them into information that organizations can use for their own strategic planning purposes. More…

Susan Nelson

Susan Nelson, executive vice president, TDC, has been with the company 1987. Over the years, she has led a wide range of projects that includes mergers, strategic business plans, financial restructuring, and facilities planning. Nelson’s practice focuses on the complex challenge of aligning an organization’s strategy, implementation plan, and financial sustainability. More…

Bailey Hoar

Bailey Hoar, Senior Project Manager, joined TDC in 2014. Ms. Hoar works with clients across the sector, with a particular focus on arts and cultural organizations. Her practice focuses on leveraging data to help answer critical questions, spark conversation and reflection, and support strategic decision-making. She works closely with stakeholders across organizations to ensure data is relevant and to make meaning of the findings to arrive at potential implications. More…

Bob Harlow

Bob Harlow, PhD is a veteran social psychologist and statistician who has spent the last two decades helping arts organizations, foundations and corporations understand how diverse audiences make decisions. More…

Steven Wolff

Steven Wolff is the founding Principal of AMS Planning & Research Corp. and AMS Analytics LLC. For 30 years, Steven has provided counsel to arts, culture and entertainment enterprises on strategic initiatives, the planning and development of more than $9m million in new and renovated capital facilities, and arts industry research. More…