The month of June was declared “CBC Radio Orchestra Month” by councillor Elizabeth Ball, reading a proclamation from Mayor Sam Sullivan at a rally on May 24 in support of the orchestra.
The event, which took place on the north side of the Vancouver Art Gallery, was attended by approximately 300 supporters, and featured speeches by Bard on the Beach artistic director Christopher Gaze, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra conductor Bramwell Tovey, renowned bassoonist George Zukerman, and local blues legend Jim Byrnes, among others.
Letters of support from virtuoso violinist James Ehnes and Spirit Of the West’s John Mann were read to the cheering crowd. The speeches were punctuated by musical performances by a variety of groups, including the orchestra’s acting principal cellist Ariel Barnes’s Trio Accord, and violinist/composer Cam Wilson’s gypsy jazz quartet Van Django.
Other notables spotted in the crowd included pianist Jane Coop, UBC School of Music director Richard Kurth, acclaimed local harpist Heidi Krutzen, and local artist Tiko Kerr, who told the Straight, “I paint to classical music. It’s integral to my work.”