Annual General Meeting Release

For Immediate Release October 06, 2011
Media Contact Jelena Bojic, Director of Marketing & Communications
jelena.bojic@edmontonopera.com
780.392.7837

The Edmonton Opera Association (Edmonton Opera) held its Annual General Meeting today at the University of Alberta, Faculty Club. The event marked the conclusion of the 2010-11 season and the company’s 47th year.

The recent performance year saw more than 11,000 people attend three main stage operas, La Boheme, The Abduction from the Seraglio and Tosca, as well as a collaboration with Fringe Theatre Adventures, Barber of Barrhead.

Edmonton Opera launches the 2011-12 performance year with the premiere of Cavelleria Rusticana/ I Pagliacci, October 22nd, featuring renowned Canadian tenor Richard Margison. The Mikado follows in February 2012 and Fidelio in April, both for limited three night runs.

The opera reported a balanced budget with more than $500,000 generated by signature special events such as the Valentine’s Gala, Opera al Fresco and the Edmonton Opera CGI golf tournament as well as generous corporate, government and individual donations.

It was a year of change for Edmonton Opera’s senior staff ranks with the departure of long time General Manager, Mary Phillips-Rickey in late 2010 and the subsequent appointment of a new CEO, Sandra Gajic, in April, 2011. Ms. Gajic was previously General Manager of EPCOR Centre in Calgary. Artistic Director, Brian Deedrick resigned in June for health reasons.

Volunteer leaders including board chair Joanne Beaton, VP, TELUS, relinquished her role at the conclusion of the meeting along with long time senior volunteers and board members Mary Le Messurier, Brian Hetherington, Hillary Rose and Dr. Diane Kipnes who will continue as chair of the Valentine’s Gala.

University of Alberta was elected the incoming board chair. Joining Murray are new board members Robert Bessette, president of Bessette Wealth Management and vice-president of RBC Dominion Securities and Bill Campbell, director, Human Resources for Canada Safeway Limited in Alberta.

In her closing remarks CEO Gajic noted,” Our focus going forward is to raise the artistic excellence of the company, while building a fiscally responsible and financially sustainable organization.”

She also noted that, as one of Edmonton’s leading arts organizations, Edmonton Opera has begun planning a special celebration season of its 50th anniversary in 2013.

The Edmonton Opera’s “Report to the Community 2010 – 11” is available at: www.edmontonopera.com


Edmonton Opera is dedicated to producing world class performances that bring the magic and power of opera to our community.  Our purpose and vision is to present opera that excites and inspires – you, the audience; our supporters and partners in the community – individuals, corporate and government.  For the last 48 years Edmonton Opera has given voice to opera in the community and throughout northern Alberta.  It is the 4th largest opera company in Canada and the oldest, largest, year round opera company in the Prairie Provinces.

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Irving Kipnes, past chair, thanked the board, staff, supporters and volunteers and said that he’s aware the organization is reviewing its current business model, and looking for measures that will make it more financially sustainable.

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