Vancouver Opera Association

1945 McLean Drive
Vancouver, BC V5N 3J7
General Director: Kim Gaynor
Board Chair: Pascal Spothelfer

Charitable Reg. #:11928 2002 RR0001


Ci's Star Rating is calculated based on the following independent metrics:

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Audited financial statements available only upon request.



Grade based on the charity's public reporting of the work it does and the results it achieves.



The demonstrated impact per dollar Ci calculates from available program information.


Charity's cash and investments (funding reserves) relative to how much it spends on programs in most recent year.



For a dollar donated, after overhead costs of fundraising and admin/management (excluding surplus) 62 cents are available for programs.

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About Vancouver Opera Association:

Founded in 1958, Vancouver Opera Association (VOA) is the second largest opera company in Canada. It produces main stage opera productions and runs education programs. VOA has made cross cultural creative partnerships and launched various community programs that arise from each season’s operas. These community programs address issues including poverty, life with disabilities, the plight of women and faith in politics.

Main productions made up 67% of VOA’s program costs in F2016. VOA ran five major productions during the year: Rigoletto, Evita, Dark Sisters, Stickboy, and Madama Butterfly. VOA introduced its Vancouver Opera Festival in April 2017, which is a two-week festival where people can attend operas, events, art galleries and other forms of entertainment. Based on the charity’s news releases, more than 20,000 people attended its productions (operas, concerts, screenings, art galleries, events) in its 2016/17 season and inaugural Vancouver Opera Theatre. The Festival included over 70 events, including three new opera productions and 20 community and free events. VOA also reports that the festival created jobs for 370 people.

Education and outreach costs made up 21% of VOA’s program costs in F2016. The charity runs multiple education programs for elementary and secondary school students, including Vancouver Opera in Schools, which is a touring program that reaches around 50,000 children and families in BC a year. The charity also runs a summer opera camp and community concerts and programs. VOA states that more than 1.6 million children have been reached through education programming over the past 40+ years.

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The following financial analysis represents the consolidated financial standing of Vancouver Opera Association, Vancouver Opera Foundation, and Vancouver Opera Endowment Trust. Fund transfers between the charities (grants to VOA from VOF and the Endowment Trust) have been excluded from revenues and expenses.

Vancouver Opera Association is a medium-sized charity with total donations of $2.4m in F2016. The dramatic spike in donations of $14.6m in F2015 is due to $12.2m in external contributions to endowment funds received by VOF during the year. Administrative costs are 9% of revenues and fundraising costs are 28% of donations. Per dollar donated to the charity, $0.63 goes towards its programs and productions, which falls outside of Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending.

VOA, VOF and VO Endowment Fund hold funding reserves of $17.0m, of which $13.7m are donor-endowed. Excluding endowed funds, reserves can cover 54% of VOA’s annual program costs.

This charity report is an update that is currently being reviewed by Vancouver Opera Association. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on August 11, 2017 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 9.4%3.9%11.0%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 28.1%5.2%42.1%
Program cost coverage (%) 53.5%48.8%50.5%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 2,43414,6121,818
Goods in kind 8661,432953
Government funding 1,8172,1331,726
Fees for service 3,7463,2663,099
Lotteries (net) 247313462
Investment income 6941081,881
Other income 135135105
Total revenues 9,93722,00010,044
Program costs 6,9467,9857,421
Grants 2206
Administrative costs 873855894
Fundraising costs 684760766
Other costs 801978
Cash flow from operations 1,33212,381879
Funding reserves 17,04615,54515,420

Note: VOF restated F2015 figures in its F2016 audited financial statements. Ci used F2015 figures from the F2016 financials and F2014 figures from the F2015 financials. Ci reported VOA’s lotteries and special events revenue net of direct expenses in lotteries, decreasing total revenues and expenses by $1.1m in F2016, $426k in F2015 and $830k in F2014. Ci adjusted for deferred capital contributions related to government funding by reporting amounts received during the year, affecting revenues by ($60k) in F2016, $49k in F2015 and $43k in F2014. Ci backed out gifts in kind of $866k in F2016, $755k in F2015 and $953k in F2014 from donations and included the amounts in donated goods in kind. Ci backed out amounts VOA received from VOF and VO Endowment Fund from donations, which totaled $621k in F2016, $973k in F2015 and $397k in F2014. Ci reported VOF’s fundraising and grants in donations, less non-cash portions of unrestricted contributions of $677k in F2015, which are included in donated goods in kind. Ci reported external contributions to endowment funds of $1.1m in F2016, $12.2m in F2015 and $197k in F2014 in donations, increasing revenues accordingly. Ci reported changes in fair value of investments, affecting revenues by $42k in F2016, ($18k) in F2015 and $1.3m in F2014. Ci did not report disbursements VOF made to VOA, decreasing expenses accordingly. Ci reported VO Endowment Trust revenues in investment income and expenses in other costs, less amounts the Trust granted to VOA.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 26

Avg. Compensation: $66,668

Top 10 staff salary range:

$350k +
$300k - $350k
$250k - $300k
$200k - $250k
$160k - $200k
$120k - $160k
$80k - $120k
$40k - $80k
< $40k

Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2016

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