A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The aim of the Toronto Bach Festival is to share the creative genius of the work of J.S. Bach, and to present his magnificent music to a diverse audience. We have always believed that the beauty of Bach’s music transcends differences among peoples and cultures.
It is indisputable, however, that the people involved both in performing and attending concerts of this music are mostly—not all, but mostly— white and privileged. As a result, not everyone feels welcome. This pains me deeply. In our festival, we strongly believe in the value, dignity, and equality of all people, and in the power of music to unite us. Racism has no place in what we seek to do, and thus, we wish to lend our voices to those, especially in the Black Lives Matter movement, struggling for equality.
As an organization, we have been thinking about how we can contribute in a meaningful and concrete way to that struggle. With the view that making music accessible and available to everyone begins early, we are forming a partnership with Reaching Out Through Music, a community-based organization that provides high-quality music education to children in St. James Town, a diverse and underserved neighbourhood in Toronto. It is our hope that it is through grassroots efforts such as these to dismantle the systemic barriers to inclusion that change will come about.
“Reaching Out Through Music is so pleased to be collaborating with the Toronto Bach Festival. This partnership will enrich our music education programming and help create opportunities for children and young people in St. James Town.” - Virginia Evoy, Executive Director, Reaching Out Through Music
We have also begun to explore, in frank and honest discussions, issues of racism, diversity, and inclusion with artists of colour within the Early Music community. Our goal is that we, and our audiences, can expand our understanding of the challenges and barriers faced by our colleagues by learning ourselves, and sharing what we learn with you. We hope you will join us on this enriching journey: please watch this space for updates.
Chair, Board of Directors
Toronto Bach Festival