We are completely heartbroken by the news on the afternoon of Thursday, September 21, that the symphony has declared bankruptcy.
However, we are so grateful for the astounding amount of support we've received - financial and otherwise - from all around the country in the past few days. Our work isn't done - we will continue to make music in the community and explore all options available to us to keep our orchestra alive. We want to reiterate that the GoFundMe campaign is run by the musicians, not the KWS board or management. Continued support to our campaign is greatly appreciated. Please continue to donate to all of these musicians whose jobs could not be saved.
Right now we aren't interested in pointing fingers or assigning blame - we are focused on finding a way to save the orchestra we all love. We don't know right now what can be done, but we are going to figure it out and we are going to do it. KWS has been performing for the people of Waterloo Region for 78 years. We are not going to stand by and watch it vanish in the blink of an eye.
We are working tirelessly to help the musicians in our orchestra and to continue to bring music to you. We are parents of small children. We are new members who have recently relocated from across the country. We are long-serving musicians who have dedicated our lives and careers to this community. We don't know when or if we will see another paycheque.
For everybody who has offered words of support in the crisis, we wholeheartedly appreciate it. Knowing that musicians and music lovers across the Region, the country and world care so deeply about the musicians of the KWS has truly been an inspiration. Wherever this journey leads, we hope you will stay with us.
Who set up this fundraiser?
We are the musicians of the KW Symphony and we are raising money in an effort to save the symphony and support the musicians for wages lost. The money raised through GoFundMe is set up to be directly deposited to the bank account of the KWS Players' Association, which is administered by members of the symphony.
How will the money be spent?
The best possible outcome for musicians and staff is an orchestra that retains KWS’s endowment, government funding, donors, and patrons. However, the options available to us depend on the amount of funds received.
If the proceeds of this campaign are able save the KWS in its present form, an agreement for restructuring must be made. If that is not possible, funds raised will go directly towards replacing the musicians' lost wages and benefits, and towards presenting musical activities in the community. We will also consider using the funds for starting a successor orchestra. In the extremely unlikely event that the money cannot immediately be used for any of these purposes, it will be directed to the Mary Cornfield Musicians' Relief Fund, which provides emergency financial assistance to KWS musicians as approved by the Trustees of the Fund.