Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

500-833 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 0G4
President: Kelly Tweeddale
Board Chair: Fred Withers

Charitable Reg. #:11928 2283 RR0001


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

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Audited financial statements available only through official request for information from Charities Directorate.



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) 68 cents are available for programs.

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About Vancouver Symphony Orchestra:

Founded in 1919, Vancouver Symphony Society operates as Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO). The charity works to enrich and transform lives through music by delivering high-quality musical performances, creating meaningful audience engagement, and delivering education and community programs. VSO claims to be the third largest symphony in Canada.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra states that it performs 150 concerts per year. Annual attendance is 250,000. In 2014/15, VSO reported featuring 55 International and 71 Canadian guest artists, conductors and ensembles.

In terms of Education and Community programming, every year VSO reports reaching 50,000 kids, teens and young adults. It also performs 12 elementary school concerts that over 490 schools attend, hosts 16 Tiny Tots concerts for children aged 5 and younger, hosts 5 Kids’ Koncerts for kids aged 4 to 11, and runs five Symphonic Encounters that are open rehearsals for high school and post-secondary school students to attend. In 2014/15, VSO visited 100 public school classrooms, ran 13 education programs, performed elementary school concerts for 400 schools, and launched the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Institute in Whistler, BC. VSO runs education programs because it believes music is necessary for a well-rounded education and enriching life.

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Ci consolidated VSO with the Vancouver Symphony Foundation (VSF) in the following financial analysis. Ci used the Foundation’s T3010 CRA filings for revenue, expense and asset figures.

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra is a medium-sized charity with cash donations and special events fundraising of $4.3m in F2015. Administrative costs are 6% of revenues and fundraising costs are 25% of cash donations and special events. Per dollar donated to VSO, $0.69 goes towards its programs, which falls within Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. Funding reserves of $19.6m can cover annual program costs for 1.6 years.

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

Updated on June 19, 2017 by Katie Khodawandi.

Financial Review

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
Administrative costs as % of revenues 6.2%6.8%6.9%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 25.3%19.9%26.2%
Program cost coverage (%) 162.3%140.4%98.0%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
Donations 2,0353,1391,494
Goods in kind 1,8371,6331,678
Government funding 4,6643,2083,043
Fees for service 5,3875,1865,287
Lotteries (net) 460393385
Business activities (net) 606050
Special events 2,3122,1332,248
Investment income 554473360
Total revenues 17,30816,22514,545
Program costs 12,08311,61211,424
Administrative costs 1,0381,069983
Fundraising costs 1,1011,048980
Other costs 574947
Cash flow from operations 3,0282,4471,112
Funding reserves 19,60816,29811,191

Note: Ci did not report fund transfers between the VSO and VSF when consolidating. Ci reported annual giving campaigns and special projects revenues in special events fundraising, and sponsorship revenue in donations. Ci adjusted for changes in deferred capital contributions to report on a cash basis, affecting revenues by ($41k) in F2015, ($37k) in F2014 and ($16k) in F2013. Ci reported lottery revenue gross of direct expenses in lotteries and Direct access revenue gross of direct expenses in business activities. Ci reported West Coast Tour revenues in fees for services and expenses in program costs. Ci backed out depreciation from administrative costs to report on a cash basis. Ci did not report recoveries from music school, increasing expenses by $100k in F2015, F2014 and F2013.

Salary Information

Full-time staff: 33

Avg. Compensation: $66,408

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 F2015

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