The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony was founded out of necessity; in 1945, the Grand Philharmonic Choir was preparing a recital and needed tuneful accompaniment for the harmonic voices. Once its backup duty was over, however, the newly convened orchestra quickly established itself as an independent source for both classical and pops concerts performing more than 100 concerts annually in the Waterloo region. Now home to 52 on-staff musicians, the orchestra continues its decades-long tradition at venues around Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, and Cambridge. From his position as music director, Edwin Outwater oversees the joyful noise, which ranges from baroque to Beethoven to the Beatles and Broadway. Since assuming the role in 2007, Outwater has been one of the orchestra's most vigorous boosters, arranging the group's first commercial recording in a decade, engineering an exploration of prog rock in collaboration with the Institute for Quantum Computing, and knitting sweaters for each musician's instrument.
In 1984 a small group of string players gathered together to try out a few songs—starting what would eventually blossom into a full orchestra. While retaining that simple spirit and keeping strings as its core, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra now encompasses wind, brass, and percussion sections, along with a keytar section when called for by Mozart. Yet chamber music remains the orchestra's favorite, and most concerts focus on creating an intimate, small-scale experience. Whether performing on its own, with a special guest soloist, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra continues to be, in the words of Mayor Rob Burton, a "world-class orchestra."
Shiatsu and LaStone therapist of Transense Healing Arts Holistic Centre employs two distinct therapy treatments to help clients reduce pain and discomfort. She uses her knuckles, thumbs, palms, knees, and elbows as instruments of relaxation, drawing from shiatsu techniques and Japanese-style acupressure to pinpoint and expunge stress. Alternatively, she uses heated basalt rocks formed from volcanic lava during LaStone therapy, loosening up knotted muscles.
Her experience stems back to the Aveda Institute in Victoria, B.C., where she graduated from in 1998 in esthetics. Since 2000, she has added LaStone therapy to her repertoire, which allows her to stimulated the autonomic nervous system and increase oxygen in the body. Her subsequent interest in shiatsu led her to Shiatsu School of Canada, which enables her to continue her journey of educational growth through her daily practice.
The resident instrumentalists at Artscape Wychwood Barns, the Music in the Barns Chamber Ensemble makes good use of the surprisingly effective acoustics of the renovated warehouse it calls home. Dedicated to the works of modern and contemporary artists, the ensemble works closely with composers and builds their programs around 20th and 21st century artists. Not just classical artists either—the group has not only worked with Yo-Yo Ma, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the Canadian Opera Company, but also with Kanye West, Mary J. Blige, and Richard Reed Perry of the Arcade Fire.
Praised by the Toronto Star as “one of the world’s top period-performance orchestras,” the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra dazzles music fans with an aural kaleidoscope of euphony. Based out of Toronto's imposingly grand Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, the group comprises a choir of angel-voiced singers and a virtuosic chamber orchestra that are dedicated to authentic period performance. An intense commitment to accuracy leads the musicians to adopt centuries-old performance techniques, such as playing only instruments styled after 18th century versions.
There are advantages to wandering. Toronto Concert Orchestra reaches audiences throughout the greater Toronto area without having to play from the top of the CN Tower, thanks to an itinerant status that brings them to many venues and concert halls north of Highway 201. It's all part of the TCO's misson: to bring orchestral music to new audiences in new environments whenever they can.