YMCA of Greater Toronto & Toronto Symphony Orchestra launch partnership with Music, Meditation

23 September 2020

Historic Toronto institutions join forces to bring well-being to the community in innovative ways

TORONTO, September 22, 2020 – This evening, the YMCA of Greater Toronto (YMCA) and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) announced an innovative and ongoing partnership at the first in a series of small, physically distanced gatherings and virtual partnered events to improve well-being in our communities over the coming year. The intimate Fall Equinox Music and Meditation event married a live string quartet with meditation and gentle stretching on the rooftop of the Central YMCA as the sun set.

The two charities’ shared objectives create a natural fit for the partnership; both focus on enriching the lives of individuals, creating a sense of belonging and increasing well-being within our communities. Both charities also are eager to serve newcomers and isolated seniors, share a commitment to youth mentorship, and rely on a network of engaged volunteers.

The YMCA of Greater Toronto and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra recognize the positive influence music can have on someone’s life and are developing collaborative programming including:

  • virtual concerts on The Bright Spot, the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s online community for older adults, with TSO musicians delivering engaging virtual musical experiences for seniors who may not be able to leave their homes,
  • programs that introduce youth to, and provide them with opportunities to engage with orchestral music, including at YMCA Sprott House, one of the first 2SLGBTQ+ transitional housing programs for youth in Canada, and
  • a showcase of Black composers during Black History Month.

“The Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the YMCA of Greater Toronto have come together to deliver unique programming for our communities at a time when the pandemic has shown us all the importance of focusing on our physical, mental and social health,” said Medhat Mahdy, President & CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto. “I’m thrilled that our organization will have a hand in helping to introduce, or reintroduce, our great city to the incredible nature and inspiration that the orchestra brings. Together, we can harness the power of music and contribute to the well-being of people at all ages and stages of life.”

“Even before the pandemic, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra began a strategic planning journey that fundamentally asked: how can we serve our community and share the power of orchestral music in a way that impacts people’s lives? I believe that there is no better partner to pursue this goal than the YMCA of Greater Toronto, which plays such a vital role in our city’s landscape. Music brings a critical role to community building and the TSO is proud to be partnering with such a remarkable organization as the YMCA,” said Matthew Loden, CEO, Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

In-person events will follow safety precautions in place at the time of the event.

For more information on the YMCA of Greater Toronto visit: www.ymcagta.org.

For more information on the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, visit: www.tso.ca.

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

For more than 165 years, the charity has provided opportunities for people to shine through participation in a variety of YMCA programs and services including education and training, employment and immigrant services, family and youth services, health and fitness programs, child care and camps. Serving diverse communities across the Greater Toronto Area, last year the YMCA made more than 620,000 connections at more than 450 locations.

About the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

One of Canada’s most respected arts organizations, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has played a vital role in the city’s dynamic cultural life for 98 years. Music Director Gustavo Gimeno brings an expansive artistic vision, intellectual curiosity, and sense of adventure to programming the 92-musician Orchestra. The TSO is committed to serving local and national communities through vibrant performances, extensive educational activities, and impactful community relationships. It has a notable recording and broadcast history and has been celebrated internationally during its many tours. Toronto’s iconic Roy Thomson Hall is the TSO’s home, drawing patrons from around the world. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s name remains synonymous with musical versatility and growth, and artistic distinction.

For further information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Brittany Arnold, arnold@veritasinc.com, 905-926-1863

Camille Cote-Begin, cotebegin@veritasinc.com, 416-819-2035