$36,000 OTF Grant gives Opera York support to reconnect to the community

Richmond Hill, ON – On Friday night as the cast for Opera York’s production of Mozart’s Magic Flute were readying to take the stage, Philip Trow, President of Opera York welcomed MPP Laura Smith and MPP Daisy Wai to say a few words about the impact of a $36,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant that the group received last year from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).  Funds from the grant were used to help Opera York to create a new website and magazine, as well as develop an action plan to use their Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin sites to help build greater awareness for the Opera York. 

“Artists and arts organizations like Opera York enrich the lives of the people of our community, while playing an important role in building a strong local economy,” said MPP Laura Smith, Thornhill. “As I always say, we support our not-for-profits, because they support us; I commend the hard work, resilience, and dedication of the Opera York staff in persevering through the hurdles of unprecedented times. I extend my sincere congratulations on receiving this grant!” 

The impact of COVID on audiences returning to live theatre has been a challenge for culture and tourism in Ontario, and the strategy of developing a social media action plan to bring back Opera York’s audiences has been very successful. The Resilient Communities Fund grant was developed by OTF to help non-profit organizations to rebuild and recover from the impacts of the pandemic. 

“I am thrilled to hear about the positive impact that the Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation has had on Opera York. Music and the arts are essential to the vitality and cultural richness of our community, and it is heartening to see organizations like Opera York continue to thrive and serve our community. This grant will help ensure that they can continue to bring the beauty of opera to the people of Richmond Hill and beyond.” – Daisy Wai, MPP for Richmond Hill. 

The Ontario Trillium Foundation’s grant to Opera York created jobs to produce dramatic increases in views on Opera York’s website, Facebook and Instagram. The increased visibility created opportunities for members of the company to be interviewed in podcasts. As well, new invitations to be involved with cultural committees, allowed the company to share their expertise and serve their community. This strong recovery predicts well for future productions, with longer campaigns in the future for using social media and gaining new volunteers.  

“Thanks to funding support from OTF, Opera York looks forward to a strong future supporting emerging opera talent, offering work to professional musicians, and education and entertainment to local choruses, students and seniors.   Opera York is grateful to the OTF, and all its staff and volunteers, for making Ontario a better and more vibrant place to live,” said Opera York’s President Philip Trow. 

Opera York’s, mission, as a professional opera company and registered charity is to offer accessible opera, education and a platform and jobs for emerging opera talent in York Region. Opera York began from singers and piano performing at  Concerts in the Park in Vaughan and has grown to  offering full productions with costumes, chorus, titling with its own orchestra at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.  It has grown a Children’s Chorus, seniors education concerts and school presentation “Opera for the Schools” in English and French, with teacher guide.   

Opera York’s next full production is  Mozart’s “Magic Flute” which is taking place March 3, 5 at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available from the RHCPA’s box office at www.rhcentre.ca  

Opera is a focus for culture, education and entertainment. If you wish to learn more about a professional career in opera, or wish to become a volunteer, please visit our website: www.operayork.com 

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations celebrates 40 years of grant making in Ontario, thereby making a lasting impact in communities.  Last year, OTF invested nearly $209M into 2,042 Community projects and partnerships, which included funding for the Government of Ontario’s Community Building Fund. Visit otf.ca to learn more. 


Organization Contact for Media Inquiries: 

Joan Sax, Co-founder, Opera York 

905 763 7853 info@operayork.com