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A Professional Symphony Orchestra for Amateur Musicians

Our musicians set the Calgary Civic Symphony apart from other orchestras. Some are retired professional musicians – keen to keep playing, but most are highly-skilled and passionate amateur musicians.

These amateur musicians maintain careers and commit to spending their spare time rehearsing and performing with the Civic. From music teachers to therapists, luthiers and even cellular biologists, the Civic musicians represent a diverse crowd of Calgarians. What unites them is their desire to play and share exceptional music. Does this sound like you? Visit the About page to learn more about auditions.

Sometimes called The Civic, The Calgary Civic Symphony is a local orchestra of amateur musicians. Some of our members are professional musicians, music teachers, or former members of the Calgary Philharmonic. But most of our members have careers outside of the performing arts. A love of making music brings us together.

Each year, we present a series of five concerts, and we dedicate ourselves to playing a beautiful and diverse mixture of music. As a result, our performances feature classical works, pop, film, and Christmas favourites.

The Civic is a supporter of music and the arts in Calgary. Beyond our five concerts, we play community shows throughout Calgary, and we also organise and execute the Rotary Calgary Concerto Competition (RC3). The competition gives young musicians an opportunity to perform with the orchestra. Finally, in our pursuit of inspiring projects and new friends, we frequently collaborate with Calgary artists and organisations to create unique concert experiences.

If this all seems interesting, you can learn more about us by watching the documentary below. Produced and directed by Rick Castiglione, the 25-minute video gives you a glimpse inside the orchestra.

The Civic - A Documentary

Our History

In 1975, the late music director, Kenneth Nielsen, invited retired professional musicians to form a volunteer-based community orchestra. This was the birth of the Orchestra Society of Calgary which had an initial membership of 38 musicians. In 1985, the orchestra executive decided to make a distinction between its governing, fund-raising body, the Orchestra Society of Calgary, and its performing branch the Calgary Civic Symphony. With this differentiation, community members who were interested in cultural activities but were not musicians could still be active members of the organisation.

Since then, The Civic has grown to over 100 members (60-70 on stage) who come from all walks of life. We rehearse once a week and invest in individual practice time to produce five amazing concerts every season.

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Office: +1 (403) 670-5430


c/o Arts Commons

2nd Floor, 205 8th Avenue SE

Calgary, Alberta T2G 0K9

Calgary Civic Symphony  Copyright C 2022 All Rights Reserved

The Calgary Civic Symphony is the performing entity of the Orchestra Society of Calgary. Registered Society in Alberta, CRA # 88754 6661 RR0001 


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