Meet Cheryl McCallum

Cheryl McCallum imageCheryl is currently the Manager of Community Sport Development at Sask Sport Inc. and resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She oversees a number of projects using a community-based approach that has been effective in contributing to health and well-being in communities throughout Saskatchewan. She joined the Orchestras Canada board in June, 2018 and is currently a member of our Governance Committee, and the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee.

Cheryl came to be involved in the Canadian orchestral scene through being part of an advisory committee that works with the Regina Symphony Orchestra to prioritize diversity in the orchestra’s mandate. This volunteer committee and the RSO are currently working closely with Indigenous communities throughout Southern Saskatchewan. “It has certainly been a value to me to be a part of an orchestral community with the intent to bridge the gaps that can create an inclusive organization,” Cheryl says.

With more than twenty years of experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors, Cheryl’s work has allowed her to “support strategies that intentionally gauge collaboration amongst diverse individuals. This is something that can certainly be applied to Orchestras Canada and the diverse range of communities that it serves.” Cheryl is passionate about developing community through sport, culture and recreation, and sees opportunities in the way that each of these endeavours bring people together to celebrate diversity. She also believes that OC has the opportunity to provide a foundation to orchestras that will ensure that they create an inclusive environment for the diverse communities that they serve. We are very fortunate to have Cheryl join our busy, hard-working and talented board of directors, and are thrilled to have her experience and track record of success at the board table.

Introducing: Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser

Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser comes to the Orchestras Canada board from a varied career as a music director, performer and music educator. He is currently the Artist in Residence and Community Ambassador with Symphony Nova Scotia, conducting ballet, pops, family and outreach concerts with the orchestra. Prior to this he also held assistant positions with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. We had the pleasure of speaking with Daniel recently to talk about his experience, and some of the challenges Canadian Orchestras are currently facing.

How did you come to be involved with Orchestras Canada?

I had just finished a conducting workshop in Winnipeg and was preparing to go back to my wonderful job teaching… and yet and yet. I knew that I wanted to conduct professionally. I was somewhat flummoxed. One of the contacts I made was an agent in New York. I emailed him and asked him how to get started. He said: “Do you know about Orchestras Canada?” I replied that, sadly, I didn’t, and he said “That’s where you go to find jobs in Canada”. I went to the Orchestras Canada website, clicked on “Jobs” and, days later, applied for what would become my first professional conducting job. Now, years later, it is my pleasure to serve on the Board of Orchestras Canada, linking Orchestras across our country with their audiences, communities and each other.

How has your background as a conductor prepared you for serving on the Orchestras Canada board of directors?

As a Conductor, I regularly transit multiple worlds, those of administration, artist and audience. I work on behalf of the people in these areas, often negotiating between them, meaning I have become intimately acquainted with their unique needs and perspectives. This awareness of the realities transpiring in the office, on the stage and in the lobby and the daily work of bringing them all together gives me an excellent standpoint from which to serve Canadian orchestras through Orchestras Canada.

What do you see as some of the major challenges presently facing Canadian orchestras?

We have tremendous opportunity ahead of us; people are re-valuing group and communal social experiences as a respite from the solitude often imposed by technology. Nevertheless, they expect technology to be essentially integrated into entertainment experiences both in terms of content and form. This requires a shift.

Additionally, the opportunity represented by growing awareness and desire for diversity bring us to the cusp of an almost revolutionary change in content, in the way we do collaboration, and in orchestral culture. These are incredibly exciting times and I am thrilled to be serving with Orchestras Canada, helping orchestras chart the course forward!