As we approach the end of the year, it seems natural to look forward to bidding goodbye to 2020. That it has been difficult for many of us is certain but we now know it is reasonable to expect that, in 2021, things will get better. We can look forward to seeing friends again, to going to concerts in person and maybe even to travel.
Looking back for a moment, though, we can all recall with satisfaction the wonderful celebration of CMK’s 40th Anniversary on January 20, 2020 with James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong saluting the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. It was a more than fitting capstone to our Society’s distinguished history of presenting extraordinary artists in demanding and exciting chamber repertoire. About 50 days later, COVID-19 shut down our season.
With the arrival of vaccines, we can look forward to more evenings like January 20, 2020. As things stand, we expect to announce our 2021-22 season in the coming months and to be able to welcome excellent performers back to the RCA in Fall 2021. Stay tuned…
Chamber Music Kelowna has tried to use our enforced hiatus in performances to advantage. Like many charitable organizations run largely on volunteer power, many “behind-the-scenes” projects (not necessarily exciting but certainly necessary) awaited attention. We set about prioritizing these and finding funding to complete the most urgent. I hope you have had a chance to look at our renovated website and that you are finding our occasional Newsletter interesting.
We have also thought seriously about how we can expand our work with young artists. We believe such programs are essential to building a secure future for classical music in our community. As you already know, we are establishing a new fund honouring Arnold Draper to assist young and talented performing groups by supporting educational and performance opportunities early in their careers. I’m pleased to let you know that we have already received several gifts in support of this program and that we expect to establish an endowment fund with the Central Okanagan Foundation early in 2021.
If you would like to make a 2020 contribution to the Arnold Draper Award Fund or to CMK’s general fund as we prepare to relaunch, please visit the Support page or the Donate page on this website.
I hope you are finding ways to enjoy the music of the season even if public concerts are not taking place. Of course, virtual experiences can’t equal the excitement of singing in the chorus of Messiah or hearing carolling in the street. But there will be a wide variety of offerings from many nations around the world by electronic means, live-streamed or recorded, available to fill our homes with music.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to wish you a warm, safe and happy holiday season. And, for the New Year, I hope we can all confidently resolve to meet again at the Mary Irwin Theatre to enjoy more evenings of great chamber music in the company of friends and fellow enthusiasts.
All the best for Christmas and the New Year,
President, Chamber Music Kelowna Society 2020-2021