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Kitchener Waterloo Symphony Players' Association Treasurer Jennifer Stephen reports on support, financial and otherwise, for musicians.

Following the declaration of bankruptcy by the Board of the KWS, the Musicians banded together to begin a fundraising campaign. That campaign continues to show very strong support, over six weeks after its initial launch.  

The fundraising efforts have expanded to encompass not only the initial GoFundMe campaign, but also direct donations via e-transfer to the KWS Players’ Association, and donations and ticket sales generated from the concerts that the Musicians have self-produced. 

We have received a great show of solidarity from other Orchestras and Organizations from across Canada and beyond. To date, donations from Musicians’ Associations, Players’ Committees and music-based companies have reached over $42,500. 

Also of note are the many donations made by private citizens; musicians and patrons, family,  friends and community members. To date there have been more than 2300 donations made to the GoFundMe page. These donations range from $20 to over $5000, and many supporters have returned to donate on more than one occasion. Despite the fundraising efforts entering their seventh week, the momentum of the campaigns remain strong. There has yet to be a 24-hour time period without a show of financial support to the fund. The total donations now surpasses $525,000. 

Although this report focuses on financial contributions, we must also acknowledge the in-kind donations of services, venues, instruments, printing, and all that goes along with mounting the concerts that the Musicians of the KW Symphony have presented since September. The  combination of support of this kind with the financial contributions of so many have certainly helped the musicians in ways that reach far beyond the monetary. 

- by Jennifer Stephen, Treasurer and Vice-Chair, Musicians of the KW Symphony Players’ Association, Nov. 9, 2023