HAMILTON, ON – In 2019, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) received a 3-year, $150,200 Grow grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to support the organization’s efforts to grow an accessible Music Education Program in the Hamilton region. Funded projects included Explore and Learn, Storytelling and Discovery Workshops presented in schools and libraries in Hamilton and Burlington. Student Concerts were specifically designed to engage youth by bringing them to the concert hall to enjoy a live orchestral experience. 

Although initially designed to be in-person, this program was effectively able to adapt to a virtual learning environment, which gave HPO the opportunity to increase its reach in the community. It was developed in collaboration with both educators and musicians and was completed in December 2021. This project has given youth and students the opportunity to engage with professional musicians in a friendly and accessible learning environment, while fostering an appreciation for orchestral music. 

“The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra (HPO) has dazzled Hamilton and area audiences for over 135 years,” said Hamilton Centre MPP Andrea Horwath. “Their success is due, in part, to their commitment to reaching out and engaging with children and youth. Inspiring children with the magic of orchestral music will ensure a lifetime of appreciation. With the generous support of the OTF, the Grow grant has helped the HPO reach even more children. I am thrilled to offer my congratulations to the HPO and wish them many more years of success.” 

“The impact of this Ontario Trillium Foundation grant on music education in our region cannot be understated,” added Kim Varian, Executive Director of the HPO. “As a result of this funding, we have been able to reach thousands of young people in our community and introduce them to the joys of orchestral music and instruments. We have welcomed them to experience a professional orchestra performing, many for the very first time. Music has been proven to have positive effects on mood, mental health and cognitive learning, which has become especially important given the current circumstances faced by our young people today.” 

The HPO continues to present in-person and online performances, music appreciation talks, extensive education programs for all ages and community events. For more information about the HPO’s online concerts and events, visit hpo.org. 

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 Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more. 

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About the HPO: For over a century, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra has presented orchestral music and education programs with a mission to enrich the wellbeing of the greater Hamilton region. Music Director Gemma New and the professional musicians of the HPO present dynamic orchestral performances ranging from standard classical repertoire to popular music and world premieres by living composers. As one of Canada’s leading professional orchestras, the HPO has proudly contributed to the shaping of Hamilton’s cultural landscape and continues to uphold values of high calibre, inclusive and accessible orchestral music and education for all. 

Media Contacts: 

Megan Nourse 
Marketing and Communications Manager 
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
905.526.1677 x 209 

Kyla Lacroix Bardsley 
Marketing and Communications Coordinator 
Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra 
905.526.1677 x 211