CBC Radio Orchestra to become independent National Broadcast Orchestra

The CBC Radio Orchestra is going private and will become the National Broadcast Orchestra, according to clarinetist Gene Ramsbottom.

In a phone call, Ramsbottom told the Straight that conductor Alain Trudel has been working to set up a foundation in Toronto to support the changeover, after which the ensemble will be run as "Canada's multimedia orchestra".

The plan is that the orchestra will work with broadcasters worldwide such as the U.S.'s NPR, the BBC, and others.

A fundraising drive will begin following the announcement of the changeover at the orchestra's November 16th concert, its last scheduled concert as the CBC Radio Orchestra, said Ramsbottom. The CBC announced last March that it was disbanding the orchestra as a cost-cutting measure.  

A website, www.broadcastorchestra.ca, has already been set up for the group, which will continue to be based in Vancouver.

Ramsbottom said the goal, ideally, would be to raise $50 million for the foundation. "It's a grand vision," he said, adding that a couple million dollars could be raised immediately "if all these people who have been protesting and signing petitions each give five dollars."