Highlands Opera Studio faces financial challenges ahead

By Vanessa Balintec

The loss of financial support from the Ontario Arts Council has made 2019 an “extremely challenging year” for the Highlands Opera Studio its general director Valerie Kuika said.

“We did not receive any support from the Ontario Arts Council this season which has deeply affected us” said Kuinka. “We have grown to expect and count on that support of $15K – $20K as we have received it every year since I began applying six years ago. It seems rural arts organizations have been hardest hit.”

Changes in grant allocations from the provincial government coincide with the growing number of non-profit organizations that are seeing rejected grant proposals.

According to Global News funding to the Ontario Arts Council was cut by $10 million alongside spending reductions to many other provincial programs.

Although HOS did not plan for funding from the Ontario Arts Council this year also marks the end of a four-year grant from Eastern Ontario Development Program which finished in 2018.

“Altogether we have lost $30K – 40K of revenue for this season” said Kuinka.

As a non-profit organization free for Canadian operatic participants revenue and grants go towards supporting the participants who often come from across the country to train with highly-skilled opera mentors. At about $10000 per participant fundraising continues to be the biggest challenge for the studio.

There are several more operatic performances in the coming week. To find more information or to purchase a ticket go to: highlandsoperastudio.com.