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Cancelling the remainder of our 2020-21 Season

This is the announcement we were hoping we wouldn’t have to make: we’re cancelling the balance of our 2020-21 Season. No doubt this news won’t come as a surprise, but it’s terribly disappointing nonetheless. When we announced the cancellation of our fall concerts back in July, we held on to the hope that we’d be in a position to resume concerts by January, 2021. It’s become increasingly clear that we’re still very much in the throes of this pandemic, and restrictions on large gatherings and travel will be the norm for the forseeable future.

To our valued subscribers and single ticket buyers affected by these cancellations: please note that we’ll automatically issue refunds to your credit cards this Friday, October 16. Please allow a couple of weeks for the credit to show up on your card, but do feel free to contact our box office at 604-602-0363 if you have any questions. If you paid for your subscription by cheque, we’ll issue a refund cheque to you and mail it by October 30.

The tally of VRS concerts cancelled between March, 2020 and May, 2021 is 29. It’s a grim number. The impact of these cancellations cannot be overstated; ticket sales account for a significant proportion of our annual revenue. In the absence of concerts, we’re now more reliant than ever upon philanthropic support. We’re so very grateful to The Peak Group of Companies, RBC Foundation, The Edwina and Paul Heller Fund at the Vancouver Foundation, The Martha Lou Henley Charitable Foundation, and a number of individual concert sponsors and very generous donors who have pledged to continue their support over the coming year. We hope that we can count on you to do so as well. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to the VRS, you can do so by clicking here, or you can mail your gift to our office (201 – 513 Main Street, Vancouver, BC, V6A 2V1). Donations over $20 are eligible for a charitable receipt.

We miss seeing you all and we can’t wait to reconnect with you once we’re back in the concert hall. Because we will be back… we’re determined to weather this storm. In the meantime, please stay engaged with us online via this website, our social media pages, and our weekly e-newsletter.

Stay well, stay healthy, and keep listening.

VRS concerts from September through December 2020 are cancelled

We’ve made the difficult decision to cancel all concerts scheduled to occur in the first half of the 2020-21 Season. The eleven cancelled concerts include, in chronological order: soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, The Jerusalem Quartet playing all the Beethoven Quartets (five concerts), cellist Abel Selaocoe, trombonist Peter Moore, pianist Tamara Stefanovich, cellist Zlatomir Fung, and pianist Schaghajegh Nosrati. The Beethoven Celebration Lecture at the VPL Central Library is also cancelled.

For the past few months we’ve been working behind the scenes, considering various scenarios in which we could safely present these concerts. With the passage of time it has become increasingly clear that theatres are unlikely to re-open in the coming months. That reality, coupled with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding travel and quarantine, have necessitated that we make this difficult decision.

As of now, we’re still hanging on to the hope that we can re-start live performances in January 2021, or shortly thereafter, but that will depend upon many things, such as the ability to congregate in theatres, the international travel situation, and, of course, the readiness of music lovers and staff to return to the concert hall.

In the meantime, we’re working on trying to reschedule some of the concerts we lost from March – May of the 2019-20 Season, as well as those we’re going to lose in the first half of the 2020-21 Season. Success will depend as much upon the availability of the Playhouse as on the availability of the artists and their willingness to travel. It may take a season or two, but we’re determined.

Please know that we’re working on other initiatives that will help us to remain visible and audible over the coming months.

To those who purchased subscriptions, first and foremost, we extend our deepest gratitude for your enthusiastic support and willingness to take this journey with us. As promised when the pandemic first hit, we’ll automatically issue refunds for tickets that were purchased to concerts that are now cancelled. Credit card refunds will be issued on July 15. Please allow a couple of weeks for the credit to show up on your card. If you paid for your subscription by cheque, we’ll issue a refund cheque to you and mail it by July 31.

Thanks to the support of government, the Vancouver Foundation, and the remarkable support of our sponsors and donors, we’re stable and will continue work behind the scenes to ensure that when the concert hall is open, and you’re ready to venture out once more, we’ll be ready to receive you. We cannot express just how much we’re looking forward to that day.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to keep you updated via this website, our weekly e-newsletter, and on social media.

Stay well, stay healthy, and keep listening.

VRS concerts in the months of March, April and May are cancelled due to COVID-19

UDATE March 18, 2020

Given the precautionary measures being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the projection that social distancing may continue for the next few months, we have decided to cancel the remaining concerts in our 2019-20 Season. The additional cancelled concerts include: Pablo and Sara Ferrández, Beatrice and Ludovica Rana, and Steven Isserlis and Connie Shih. We had previously cancelled all concerts for the month of March (Benjamin Grosvenor, Sir András Schiff’s two concerts, Jerusalem Quartet, and Tabea Zimmerman and Javier Perianes).

The impact of these cancellations will be significant; our staff and ongoing operations are reliant upon the income that we derive through ticket purchases. Without concerts we’ll be even more reliant upon philanthropic support, which is why we’re asking that you — if you can — consider donating the value of your tickets to the VRS rather than requesting a refund.

Normally at this time of year revenue is coming in with the purchase of subscriptions for the next season and through donations to our annual fund. Our upcoming 2020-21 Season, announced in early March, was met with a great deal of enthusiasm and subscriptions were selling well. In the last 10 days sales have understandably slowed. With that in mind, we have come up with another option for subscribers: apply the credit from this season’s cancellations to your subscription for next season. We have never presented this option before but it’s something we are happy to do for those who want to come back for great music once our concerts resume.

With a number of options, how do you proceed? What are the next steps?

Single ticket buyers:
On Friday, April 3, refunds will be automatically issued to anyone who purchased a single ticket to any of our cancelled concerts. There is no need to call the VRS. Please allow a month or two for the credit to show up on your statement, as there are additional strains on the banks and card processing systems at the moment. If you have not seen the credit appear on your statement by the end of May, please get in touch with us and we will investigate. If you decide that you would like to donate your ticket(s) in lieu of a refund, please send an email to tickets@vanrecital.com before April 3. Charitable receipts will be sent in mid-April.

Subscribers:
If you are a subscriber wishing to donate your tickets, please contact us by email at tickets@vanrecital.com and we will process your donation. Charitable receipts will be sent in mid-April. If your preference is for a refund, please contact us via the above email address before Friday, August 14.

If you wish to apply your credit to next season’s subscription order, please know that this option is available to you until Friday, August 14. If we have not heard from you regarding your subscription for next season, don’t worry, we won’t just keep your money! We will convert any remaining balance on your account into a charitable donation and forward a receipt to you before the end of August. Much though we would love to, we are not able to carry credits forward beyond August 14.

We have made the decision to close our physical office for the time being. We want to play our part in this all-encompassing effort to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19. Please know that we are not closing the door and walking away; VRS staff will be working from home and checking email and voicemail throughout the workday. Please bear with us as we work our way through each and every email — although we are a small team, we are committed to continuing our efforts to offer the best service we can, despite the current challenges. You can view our office contact list here.

Now more than ever we can appreciate just how small our world truly is and the importance of working together in an effort to protect each other. Staying connected is so important, so we’ll continue reaching out through our e-news and social media channels to try to put a smile on your face and remind you that we’ll all be back together for great performances in the future. In the meantime, I’m including a video of Sir András Schiff performing the Goldberg Variations at the Royal Albert Hall in London a couple of years ago (see the item further below). Just to give you a taste of what’s to come. Because we are still very much hoping to present this concert, depending upon András’s schedule and the availability of the hall.

We appreciate your support as we navigate these difficult times.

Stay safe and take care.

***

 

March 12, 2020

We’ve been closely monitoring the news and updates from government health agencies regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).

After a great deal of consideration and deliberation over the past couple of days, we’ve made the decision to take the precautionary measure of cancelling all upcoming concerts until the end of March.

The health and wellbeing of our patrons is paramount, and, given that seniors comprise a significant portion of our audience, we feel all the more obliged to be cautious. We’ve not made this decision lightly but we don’t want to wait until it’s too late to cancel, and we don’t want to be responsible for the ill health of our patrons, staff, colleagues and musicians. We’re disappointed, as I’m sure many of you will be, but we hope you’ll understand our position.

The affected concerts include:

Benjamin Grosvenor at the Vancouver Playhouse on March 15

Sir András Schiff at the Chan Centre on March 22

Sir András Schiff at the Vancouver Playhouse on March 24

Jerusalem Quartet at Congregation Beth Israel on March 26

Tabea Zimmerman and Javier Perianes at the Vancouver Playhouse on March 29

As March unfolds and we have a sense of the progression/containment of COVID­-19, we’ll assess the status of the concerts scheduled for April and May.

If you have tickets for any of the cancelled performances, you have the following options:

  • We can refund the full value of your ticket

OR

  • You may return your ticket to the Vancouver Recital Society and we’ll issue a charitable receipt for its full value

OR

  • You may exchange your ticket for either of the remaining performances in the 2019-20 Season

Please contact our office by phone at 604-602-0363 or by email to discuss your preference with regard to your ticket(s) for any of the affected concerts. We ask for your patience as we work through processing each request on an individual basis.

Wishing you all good health.

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