March 31, 2020

HAMILTON, ON – The board of directors of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining 19-20 Season. This decision was made in response to the current COVID-19 global pandemic and based on guidance from government and health officials with the intent of supporting the health and safety of our patrons, musicians, volunteers, staff and wider community. 

Cancelled concerts include Sci-Fi Spectacular on April 17 and 18, as well as the matinee and evening performances of Beethoven Nine scheduled for May 9. Postponed events include the Intimate & Immersive series and all other community events and education programs scheduled through the end of June 2020. 

“This decision to cancel the season was taken with great care,” says HPO Board Chair Anne Tennier. “Our commitment to HPO’s long-term vitality is paramount for us all, and this means supporting our core musicians, conductor and staff through these uncertain times.” 

Therefore, our organization will ensure that core musicians are supported through these turbulent times by paying them for April and May mainstage services. The HPO will also retain all administrative and artistic staff as they work through supporting our organization and community through this season and planning the 20-21 Season. The HPO team is thanks its board of directors for their careful stewardship of the organization’s finances over the past several years to help to weather this storm. 

Ticket holders for April and May Mainstage concerts have received detailed information via email regarding next steps. Patrons may choose to donate the value of their tickets back to the organization for a charitable tax receipt or may request a refund. The HPO thanks ticket holders for their patience as a high volume of requests are processed. Questions regarding tickets may be sent to 

HPO at Home
In the days and weeks ahead, the HPO will continue to offer beautiful and inspiring musical moments through digital channels. Staff are currently working with Composer-in-Residence Abigail Richardson-Schulte and HPO musicians to produce online interviews and storiesStaff are also actively compiling a list of digital arts resources from across the web, along with educational resources for children and ways to support local businesses. These resources can be found through the HPO at Home page, in weekly e-newsletters and on the organization’s FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages. 

20-21 Season Launch
The HPO has chosen to delay the announcement of the new season and extend deadlines for subscribers to receive early bird pricing. The announcement of the 20-21 Season will come in early May. 

The COVID-19 crisis is difficult financially for all industries, and the impact on arts organizations will be significant. While this health crisis is uncertain, the HPO is a resilient organization and will continue to make thoughtful and informed decisions and persevere with support from the community. 

Since musicians first formed the Hamilton Orchestral Society in 1884, the organization has persisted through a spirit of unified effort and a belief in the power of our art form. The orchestra has risen to meet challenges in the past and will be here to offer the experience of live concerts together in the future. 

Twitter: @H_P_O

About the HPO: The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1884 as The Hamilton Orchestral Society and grew to become one of Canada’s major professional orchestras. Today, the HPO is a leader in Hamilton’s robust arts community where it provides professional orchestral services and music education programs to address the needs of the community. The HPO continues to commission and premiere works and is one of the artistic jewels of the Hamilton area. The combined musical talents of its artists continue to enrich the community and enhance the quality of life for its residents.


Media Contacts 

Christina Volpini 
Marketing and Communications Manager 

Megan Nourse 
Communications and Outreach Assistant