Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra appeals to public for financial help

The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra is facing a cash flow crisis.
The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra could receive up to 50 per cent of this year's grant before the 2016 budget is finalized. (
It's been a tough few years for the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Their government funding, which had been flatlined for several years, was cut. Now they're scrambling. 9:52

The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra is facing a cash flow crisis.

The orchestra has seen its funding from provincial and federal sources frozen for the last six years, and then further reduced five to 10 per cent.
Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra board chair Paul Inksetter says receiving a larger piece of its annual grant from the city would help them make it to the June 30 end to their fiscal year. (CBC)

TBSO board chair Paul Inksetter told CBC News it's always a struggle to keep the orchestra afloat, and that's why they're now appealing for help from the public.

"Our best chance are the people of Thunder Bay, who have always very generously and enthusiastically supported the symphony," he said.

"That's why we're having a great fundraising campaign right now to persuade people to help us through this cash flow crisis."

The TBSO — which is celebrating its 55th season — has set a campaign goal of $225,000.

TBSO 'absolutely first-class'

Inksetter noted ticket sales have actually risen in the last few years, despite waning corporate sponsorship and government funding.

The Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra is the only professional orchestra between Toronto and Winnipeg, said Inksetter, with 30 musicians playing "absolutely first-class, high quality music." 

The musicians "also have just the most amazing dedication and commitment to the orchestra," he said. "They recognize the situation that we're in, and they're out helping fundraise."

Inksetter said he believes Thunder Bay knows the value of the orchestra, and he is optimistic that the financial hurdle can be overcome.