Making Beautiful Music with a $139,200 OTF Resilient Communities Fund Grant

Published on March 16, 2021

March 16, 2021

Markham – On Friday, MPP Billy Pang spoke online with the Kindred Spirit Orchestra’s Jobert Sevilleno and Kristian Alexander about the challenges that the popular orchestra has faced since the arrival of COVID-19 one year ago. Shelley Wister-Smith, a volunteer with the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s (OTF) local Grant Review Team, joined in the call and together, she and MPP Pang also had the opportunity to listen to how a $139,200 OTF Resilient Communities Fund grant will help the orchestra continue to connect with its audience - virtually.


“I want to congratulate Kindred Spirits Orchestra for receiving $139,200 in funding from Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Resilient Communities Fund,” said Billy Pang, MPP for Markham-Unionville. “COVID-19 has impacted organizations in many ways. I am pleased that through this funding, it will support and help this organization acquire necessary equipment to deliver live music performances to residents of Markham-Unionville and surrounding communities virtually.”


The Resilient Communities Fund was developed to help non-profit organizations recover and rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19 to continue meeting the needs of Ontario communities. Funds from the grant are being used to help with fees for a part-time Project Manager and an IT technician to move live performances online, purchasing 65 iPads and equipment for the musicians, as well as audio/visual equipment rentals.


The new system will significantly shorten the time for preparation during rehearsals and enable presenting high-quality concerts to audiences not only in York Region, but further afield. The new system will also permanently replace paper music sheets and scores and save on average 20,000 sheets of printed paper annually. The digital system will also make rehearsing and performing in post-pandemic times healthier and safer by eliminating high touch-point exchange of paper sheets, pencils and erasers and by allowing hands-free page turns. The system will also the orchestra to offer “risk-free” outdoor performances and mitigate the impact of weather conditions (e.g. wind and low ambient light environment).


“The KSO will be the first symphony orchestra in Canada to significantly reduce its carbon footprint by replacing paper-based instrumental parts with a state-of-the-art digital system designed by Newzik for Apple”, said Maestro Kristian Alexander, Music Director of the KSO. “The KSO will join a growing international community of performing arts organizations that have transitioned their operations to an environmentally conscious business model.”


The Kindred Spirits Orchestra is committed to changing lives through music’s extraordinary power to communicate, inspire, uplift, educate, and entertain. Through outstanding live performances that are evocative, dramatic, and passionate, the Orchestra seeks to elate avid patrons and develop, in collaboration, new audiences of all ages for classical music. The KSO has enjoyed a remarkable popularity at Markham Theatre where it performs for sold-out houses and standing ovations. For more information, please visit the website at:


The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $115 million to 644 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.


For more information, please contact:                             

Jobert Sevilleno  

Kindred Spirits Orchestra  


[email protected]  

Kitty Huang

MPP Billy Pang Constituency Office


[email protected]