We are excited to announce the recent donation of $10,000 to the Surrey City Orchestra's Endowment Fund with SurreyCares.
Late in 2020, the Foundation and Surrey City Orchestra announced the partnership to raise local funds while jointly applying for an endowment incentive from a Cultural Investment Fund Matching Grant Program, funded by the Canadian Government. These funds will help grow a sustainable source of funding for the Surrey City Orchestra and their goal to support the Arts in Surrey, as they are unable to raise funds with usual methods during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Donors Jeff Hector and Erin Anne Beirne, who is also a director of the Surrey City Orchestra, shared their passion for creating a legacy that will help grow the Orchestra to a level of stature consistent with the high caliber of musicians. Beirne also has a personal passion for ensuring that Surrey's young people are exposed to professional musicians and have opportunities to participate in high-quality music programs.
Erin Anne had studied music on and off for most of her life, starting with piano, and moved onto learning the upright bass. She started taking bass lessons with Jodi Proznich, who is also the person who told her about the Surrey City Orchestra, and Ellen, the Board Chair of Surrey City Orchestra. Once Erin Anne met Ellen, she was captivated by her knowledge and vision for a successful orchestra in Surrey. She realized that the Surrey City Orchestra can bring great opportunities to the community, including an economic boost and opportunities for youth interested in music. After their first time meeting, she was hooked on the idea and immediately became heavily involved.
“Up until recently Surrey was the only large city in Canada that did not have its own professional orchestra,” commented Erin Anne. “However, dozens of professional musicians live right here in Surrey, including a number who also perform with the VSO, the Vancouver Opera, and a variety of other wonderful organizations. As a vibrant, diverse, and rapidly-growing city, Surrey is well-positioned to add our own flavour to the cultural opportunities available both for musicians as well as audiences who would love to enjoy high-quality music right here in Surrey.”
“Live performances are like a conversation in the room,” quoted Erin Anne, noting that we are missing that conversation in Surrey. She continued to explain how important it is to provide Arts & Culture programs in Surrey, as many young people travel out of Surrey for entertainment. The Surrey City Orchestra is a great way to listen to live music in their own city, which would also benefit our local economy.
If classical symphony music is not of interest to some, the Surrey City Orchestra provides a wide variety of other musical formats, such as a quartet, a jazz-classical ensemble, even a mariachi band, and many more. The Surrey City Orchestra also likes to play ethnic and crossover music to represent ethnic diversity in Surrey.
“We have had some amazing shows in the past, which surprised watchers with the high-level quality of the concerts. Many people who attend do not realize that the members of our Orchestra are top professionals. This is something that we want to make more well known within the community,” said Erin Anne.
Jeff, past chair of SurreyCares Community Foundation and Erin Anne’s husband, has supported her throughout her journey of being on the Surrey City Orchestra board. “There has been talk for years about the organization creating a fund with SurreyCares Community Foundation. Now that they qualify by holding charitable status and with the great matching opportunity, the Surrey City Orchestra is simply ready to make this step now,” explained Jeff.
Erin Anne and Jeff continued to explain the benefits of working with a Community Foundation to create an endowment fund. Community Foundations like SurreyCares work to support other charitable organizations. If a non-profit needs to close, their independently managed funds get absorbed by the government. However, if a non-profit has an endowment fund with a Community Foundation and if they had to close, the funds remain intact and will go towards a new organization that is under the same category. Also, the ability for donors to be anonymous is much easier, as SurreyCares Community Foundation is a third-party organization involved in the donation process. Lastly, they added that Community Foundations have the resources to grow the endowment fund more than the non-profits running their endowment funds themselves and can amplify profiles more.
“People may be reluctant to donate (their time and dollars), but you only feel that pleasure to give when you do. Give till it hurts but in a good way. Talk to people in the community, such as charity leaders or people in need. It is hard to not be inspired by real-life stories people share,” stated Jeff.
This endowment fund campaign aims to help the Surrey City Orchestra raise $50,000 from donors starting December 1, 2020, until November 30, 2021. This amount may be matched by the Government of Canada to bring the total to $100,000. This funding would help the Surrey City Orchestra prepare for a future community musical performing arts centre and educational programs during these trying times, along with the organization's other initiative goals. The Orchestra would also appreciate support from the community in spreading the word and volunteers who can help raise awareness of this important initiative.
To donate and show support for the Surrey City Orchestra and its initiatives like the community arts centre and programs, please visit https://www.surreycares.org/surrey-city-orchestra-endowment.