National Broadcast Orchestra Finds Home at UBC’s Chan Centre for the Performing Arts

The University of British Columbia announced today it will play a key role as a founding partner for the National Broadcast Orchestra, the privately funded successor to the former CBC Radio Orchestra.

UBC will provide ongoing use of the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC as the Orchestra’s performing home. The Orchestra will also develop a strong relationship with the UBC School of Music.

UBC finalized this agreement with the National Broadcast Orchestra (NBO) shortly after the CBC Radio Orchestra’s farewell concert on Sunday, November 16. 

The agreement covers an initial period of three years and is subject to renewal provisions, says NBO Co-founder Philippe Labelle, the founder and CEO of Montreal-based ZeFridge, an online software platform.

During this initial period, the NBO will hold three concerts per year at the Chan Centre, to be broadcast nationally on the CBC. UBC and NBO will also collaborate on other projects and present other concerts.

Labelle began working with Alain Trudel, Principal Conductor of the CBC Radio Orchestra, once it was made public in March CBC’s plans to dismantle its 70-year-old Vancouver orchestra.

“The relationship with the School of Music will provide opportunities for UBC faculty, alumni artists and students to engage with the orchestra,” said Richard Kurth, Director of the UBC School of Music.

“The National Broadcast Orchestra will be responsive to the needs and opportunities of the present and future, and will continue to give Canadians music that will inspire them,” said Kurth, adding, “We hope that Canadians from coast to coast will support its initiatives, and listen eagerly to its work.”

“If our efforts keep developing in a positive way, we look forward to building a regular presence of the NBO at the Chan Centre,” said Sid Katz, Managing Director of the Chan Centre.

Katz added the new orchestra will pursue its crucial mission in providing an exciting new forum for music lovers all across the country.

“I would like to join my voice with that of my fellow Canadians and say how proud we are of the contribution to our national culture that the CBC Radio Orchestra has made over its unique 70-year history,” said Trudel.  

CBC Radio Executive Director Denise Donlon says the public broadcaster sees this as an opportunity to partner with private business, and that CBC will be providing support through concert broadcasts, commissions, rehearsal space and access to the CBC sheet music library.

“We wish the National Broadcast Orchestra every success in the future," said Donlon. “We’ve had very positive discussions with Philippe Labelle and Alain Trudel and have agreed that once the new orchestra is viable, we’re prepared to offer continued support.”

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