Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony to offer online concerts amid COVID-19 pandemic
KITCHENER -- The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony is moving to a new format this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The symphony has decided to postpone its 75th season, but people will still be able to enjoy the music.
Larry Larson has played trumpet with the symphony for the past 27 years. This year will be his first time not playing in front of a live audience.
"It's crazy," he said. "I mean, who would've thought back when this first broke that we would be in this situation right now where things are really shut down as far as live performances go."
The 2020-21 season will be postponed for a year and, instead, presented in 2021-2022.
"I think that, therefore, we will maintain not just the relationship with our patrons, who in many cases purchased tickets, but also it preserves the integrity of the season," the symphony's executive director Andrew Bennett said.
The decision to postpone was made due to public health guidelines restricting large indoor gatherings.
Despite postponing the program, the symphony won't be silent this year.
"We will do everything we can to keep the music playing for everybody," Larson said. "A pandemic like this is not going to keep us down."
The symphony will live stream its concerts starting in September, for a yet-to-be determined price.
"It allows us to make sure that all our musicians and our community knows that the new material that will be specially curated will be valued," Bennett said. "I think there is a bit of an argument out there these days that if everything is free for the arts, nothing is valued."
Some in the region said they're happy to pay to support the arts, while others won't necessarily spend the money.
"We're going to be adjusting the sale mechanisms on the basis that we are charging to reflect the new reality," Bennett said.
Anyone who had tickets for this year can either transfer their tickets to next year or get a refund.