Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra considering move after director stabbed in face

The Saskatoon Symphony is still feeling the aftershock of a sudden attack on its director this week.

Victim recovering, suspect arrested

Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra executive director Mark Turner was stabbed in the face in his 20th Street office. (Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra)

The Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is still feeling the aftershock of a sudden attack on its director this week.

A man walked into the SSO's Riversdale office during broad daylight Tuesday and stabbed Mark Turner in the face using the blunt end of a fork.

Angela Kempf, the SSO's director of development, said Turner is recovering but is still shaken, saddened and hurt, both mentally and physically.

Turner was stabbed at the brow bone. Luckily, the object missed his eye.

Kempf said it was the first time she had ever seen the perpetrator prior to him circling the building and entering their door. She said he look directly at Turner, although other staff members were asking him if he needed help.

She said the man then lunged at Turner and she heard a slap.

"That's what I thought had happened at first, but with the amount of blood ... it was definitely more serious than what I first imagined," Kempf said.

Ending the open door policy

Now, the SSO is re-evaluating its long-time 20th Street and Avenue D location in the the Riversdale neighbourhood.

"It would be a great upheaval to us, [and an] expense that we cannot afford, really, but we would have to potentially look at moving I think," Kempf said. "Or implementing some new security measure."

Before the attack, the SSO had an open door policy. Kempf said the door will now remain locked to people they don't know.

Police arrested the suspect, who fled immediately after the attack but returned to the area.

Kempf said she warned neighbouring businesses. 

"We're still all very shaken. It was very difficult to go back to the office," Kempf said. "I know the rest of our staff who were there, and even those who weren't there and our volunteers, are a bit nervous to be back in that space and continually relive what happened."

Kempf said the SSO will implement a new security procedure and re-evaluate its location with its board when employees return to work on Tuesday.