Entertaining Oakville, Burlington, and Mississauga since 1984…
For over 35 years now, the Oakville Chamber Orchestra (OCO) has presented ensemble music featuring favourite classics, contemporary music, and rare gems in intimate settings. Originally founded as a group of amateur string players, the OCO has steadily grown in size, and quality to become the well-loved and community orchestra it is today. Audiences and critics resoundingly agree that our musical quality has never been better.
The OCO exists to enhance the quality of life for all Oakville residents by providing high quality, meaningful chamber music experiences. We do so by offering high value, accessible concerts and outreach programs to a diverse audience. We provide professional development for promising, high potential musicians, including our core musicians and participants in our annual Youth Concert Competition, to grow & train in a healthy, creative environment.
Our vision is to create exceptional experiences where passion, chamber music, and community come together.
Support for our progress has come from a volunteer Board of Directors first set up in 1997 under then President, Chuck Havill, who has been ardently involved in the Oakville arts scene for many years. Many other board members also have donated their time and energy, as well as business, organizational, and creative skills to the behind-the-scenes operations of the Orchestra; we continue to rely upon the efforts and expertise of volunteers.
In recent years, Gerry Wilson has been instrumental to our continued growth through numerous individual donations and through the Oakville Community Foundation. Her contributions allow the OCO to continue striving for excellence.
In 2012 and 2013, the generosity of Hugo and Tracy Powell permitted the OCO to organize two fundraisers at Chelster Hall, the largest home in Canada, on the shores of Lake Ontario in Oakville. The 2013 Chelster Hall Community Festival, chaired by Mr. Powell, was attended by 500 people, partnered with 10 local restaurants and helped raise $120,000 for five Oakville charities: The Oakville Hospital Foundation, the Oakville Public Library, the Oakville & Milton Humane Society, St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School, and the Oakville Chamber Orchestra.
In 2013, Manulife Securities was a Platinum Season Sponsor.
Manulife Securities, The Powells and Ms. Wilson have allowed us to expand our youth programs under the banner “Youth Inspiring Youth” with our annual Youth Concerto Competition, and the Oakville Public Library Children’s Cushion Concert and Instrument Petting Zoo – all sellout events. The Youth Concerto Competition enables young people to experience performing with an orchestra as a soloist, and to receive top quality coaching. Our concerts with the winners provide a forum where young musicians can inspire audiences of other young people!
Above all, we thank our valued audience members from Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga, and elsewhere. Our audience fuels our passion for presenting great music in intimate and immersive settings.
We are proud to partner with the Oakville Arts Society, the Oakville Arts Council, the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, and ArtHouse.