CharityIntelligence Canada

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra

212 King Street West, 6th Floor
Toronto, ON M5H 1K5
Board Chair: Catherine Beck
CEO: Matthew Loden

Website: www.tso.ca
Charitable Reg. #: 10525 5335 RR0001
Sector: Arts & Culture
Operating Charity

Results Reporting

Grade: C-

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

Financial Transparency

Audited financial statements for current and previous years available on the charity's website [Audited financial statement for most recent year]

Need for Funding

Funding Reserves Program Costs

Spending Breakdown

Cents to the Cause

95¢
75¢
avg
65¢
50¢
2016 2017 2018
For a dollar donated, cents funding the cause after fundraising and admin costs, excluding surplus.

Full-time staff #56

Avg. Compensation $85,344

Top 10 Staff Salary Range

$350k + 1
$300k - $350k 0
$250k - $300k 0
$200k - $250k 0
$160k - $200k 3
$120k - $160k 4
$80k - $120k 2
$40k - $80k 0
< $40k 0
Information from most recent CRA Charities Directorate filings for F2018

About The Toronto Symphony Orchestra:

Founded in 1922, Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) is one of Canada’s leading arts charities that provides orchestral performances and serves the musical needs within Toronto. Outside of its main orchestra performances, TSO runs a music education program, a Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (TYSO), and in F2018 ran a special program to commemorate Canada 150 called the Canada Mosaic. 

The Toronto Symphony’s main orchestra performed 137 times in F2018. Out of these performances, 131 were at Roy Thomson hall, three were at Koerner hall, and three were at George Weston Recital hall. The orchestra had 10 world premieres, two north American premieres, and six Canadian premieres. In total, the orchestra had a total attendance of 272,697 people with 22,650 of them being first time attendees. In June 2018, TSO’s conductor retired after their 14-year tenure. The Orchestra will have an interim director until 2020 when Gustavo Gimeno will take over as director.

Through the music education program, TSO performs concerts for school groups. The orchestra gives students a look into how the orchestra prepares for a performance and an opportunity for a Q&A. The orchestra presented 20 school concerts in F2018 to 38,852 teachers and students.

The TSYO offers free training for young musicians aged 22 and under. This program supports and develops young artists. The TSYO holds annual auditions for aspiring members and, for those on the orchestra, has weekly rehearsals for members.  The orchestra also awards a $1,000 scholarship to one member to help them continue their training.

To celebrate Canada 150, TSO led a signature project in celebration of the nation’s musical diversity. TSO partnered up with 79 orchestras to put on 46 performances at Roy Thomson Hall. 42 of these performances were recorded and have been accessed over 15 million times across the internet, TV, and radio. The orchestra also developed 13 e-learning modules and published 215 features and articles.

Financial Review:

Ci consolidated TSO with the Toronto Symphony Foundation (TSF) in the following financial analysis. Ci gathered TSF’s revenues, expenses and asset figures from its T3010 CRA filings.

TSO and TSF do not have the same yearend (TSF's yearend is March). Given this, fund balances and transfers will not match.  The difference in TSO's reported revenues from TSF and TSF's reported grants to TSO affects overall cash flows by $151k in F2018, ($2.6m) in F2017 and $2.5m in F2016.

Toronto Symphony Orchestra is a large charity with total donations and special events fundraising of $11.3m in F2018. Administrative costs were 22% of revenues and fundraising costs were 18% of donations and special events revenues in F2018. For every dollar donated to the charity, $0.60 go to its programs. This is outside Ci’s reasonable range for overhead spending. TSO and TSF hold net funding reserves of $26.5m – TSF has $30m in investments and cash, while TSO has $3.5m in bank debt. Funding reserves can cover program costs for 15 months.

TSO uses external fundraisers as part of its fundraising activities. In F2018, the charity paid out $165k to external fundraisers and collected $307k. For every dollar collected, TSO paid out $0.54. This was up from $0.51 in F2017, and $0.48 in F2916.

This charity report is an update that has been sent to Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Comments and edits may be forthcoming.

Updated on June 28, 2019 by Stefan Tetzlaff.

Financial Ratios

Fiscal year ending June
201820172016
Administrative costs as % of revenues 22.2%25.4%34.6%
Fundraising costs as % of donations 17.5%18.7%17.7%
Program cost coverage (%) 129.8%120.7%138.7%

Summary Financial Statements

All figures in $000s
201820172016
Donations 10,70010,01810,093
Government funding 8,2298,7295,416
Fees for service 10,1328,7658,887
Special events 586631,085
Investment income 1,1343,783392
Other income 7968611,066
Total revenues 31,57732,21926,940
Program costs 20,39221,37519,118
Administrative costs 6,7677,2239,186
Fundraising costs 1,9741,8881,976
Cash flow from operations 2,4451,733(3,340)
Funding reserves 26,46525,80026,509
Note: Ci consolidated the operating charity with the foundation. Ci used numbers data for the foundation pulled from its T3010 filling.