Esprit conductor in front of orchestra

Ontario Orchestra Patrons Research

In the summer of 2018, Orchestras Canada (in collaboration with Ontario Presents) launched a research project on Ontario smaller budget orchestras’ audiences. OC invited orchestras with annual revenues under $1 million to anonymize their patron data, and send the resulting lists of patron postal codes to OC. Using Environics’ powerful PRIZM5 tool, the team at OP then analyzed patron data from 24 different orchestras (in the city of Toronto, in the Golden Horseshoe, and in regional centres from Ottawa to Burlington, North Bay and Sudbury to Kitchener-Waterloo). The end result? An overall picture of smaller budget orchestras’ audiences – plus some nuanced perspective on the City of Toronto, the Golden Horseshoe, and regional orchestra audiences across the province.

Very few smaller-budget groups can afford this kind of sophisticated data analysis on their own, but by pooling member orchestras’ data and working in collaboration with OP, Orchestras Canada was able to offer orchestras some unique insights into orchestras’ audiences, and the catchment areas that they serve. The project was funded in part by Orchestras Canada’s generous donors, who contribute to our research efforts on behalf of Canadian orchestras.

We are thrilled to share with you the final report from Ontario Presents on this research. This is a more detailed expansion of the presentation given by Judy Harquail and Natalie Dewan back in November at OC’s Ontario Small Budget Orchestra Workshop. The report includes a great deal of information. In order to get the most out of it, we suggest you take a look at the following sections:

  • Page 3 for a basic overview
  • Page 4 for a picture of the typical orchestra patron in Ontario as a whole
  • Page 22 for further information on patrons common to all of Ontario
  • The target set for your region: City of Toronto (pg 9), Suburban GTA (pg 13), or Regional Centres (towns/cities outside of the GTA- pg 17)
  • Page 22 for tips on how to effectively use this information

You can download the report here.

The report also references the Prizm5 Handbook. You can find this handbook here.