Bimonthly Professional Company Leadership Call: April 2023

To keep its members informed and connected, AOC holds bimonthly leadership calls for general managers, executive directors, artistic directors, and other senior leaders from among its professional company membership.

On April 6, 2023, AOC held its latest leadership call, which covered a wide range of topics, from program updates and meetings to advocacy and repertoire trends. Here are some of the highlights from the call.

Program Updates

One of the main topics discussed during the call was the recently wrapped Opera Artist Reslilence (OAR) Program. The program provided nearly $450,000 to 320 artists, including a $150,000 supplement based on demand. AOC looks forward to sharing the results and impact of the program with its members.

Another upcoming program is the International Market Development Readiness Training, which will prepare members to apply to participate in a partially-funded delegation to Opera Europa in Copenhagen/Malmo in October 2023. Further announcements on this training will come shortly.

Meetings and Events

AOC also discussed upcoming meetings and events, including the Ontario Roundtable on May 2 at the University of Toronto and the Opera America conference, which features a New Works Pitch on May 18 and the Canada Lounge.

The next AOC Summit is tentatively scheduled to take place in Winnipeg, and the organization thanked its members for their feedback in the surveys.


AOC also discussed the lack of new or continued COVID support for the arts in the federal budget, with special mention of additional funds going to the regional development agencies (an additional $ 108 M over 3 years to the Tourism Growth Strategy). COVID funding efforts were discussed at the provincial level, with a focus on BC and Quebec.

Repertoire Trends

During the call, AOC members discussed what repertoire is working to rebuild audiences in their communities. Vancouver discussed their recent success with Britten (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), while Victoria saw pre-pandemic levels of attendance for their Canadian premiere of The Birds. This led to a wider discussion of factors in efficacy of new and existing repertoire.

Next Meeting Topic

Finally, AOC announced the topic for the next leadership call: cultural infrastructure for the performing arts. Members will discuss whether they have the facilities they need, how their civic theatres are performing, and whether Canada needs another Centennial-like investment in cultural infrastructure.

Overall, AOC’s bimonthly leadership calls provide a valuable opportunity for professional opera companies to stay informed and connected. With updates on programs, meetings, advocacy, and repertoire trends, AOC’s members can work together to promote and advance the art of opera in Canada.

To join as a Professional Company Member, see our Join Us page here:

If you’re already an Associate Member and you would like to apply to switch levels to Professional Company, email General Manager Joel Klein.