June 29, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OREGON SYMPHONY PRESIDENT ELAINE CALDER
EXTENDS TENURE FOR FOUR MORE SEASONS
(PORTLAND, Ore.) – The Oregon Symphony Association and President Elaine Calder have agreed to a four-year extension of Calder’s contract, ensuring that Calder will remain at the helm of Portland’s largest performing-arts organization through at least the 2013/14 concert season.
The contract extension was announced by Board Chair Walter E. Weyler, who credited Calder with improving relations with the association's musicians, patrons, and community leaders; significantly increasing ticket revenue and concert income; cutting expenses; leading the organization toward a balanced budget; and overseeing the retirement of its $7 million long-term debt.
“A staff member recently characterized Elaine as the best president the Oregon Symphony has ever had,” Weyler said. “She lives the job. We all benefit from Elaine's presence in and commitment to the Oregon Symphony and our community.”
Calder first came to the Oregon Symphony from Canada in 2006 as strategic-planning consultant, pending a successful application for a U.S. work visa. She assumed the role of president in July 2007.
“I’m so proud to be associated with this orchestra and with its music director, Carlos Kalmar,” said Calder. “We’ve come some distance together over the past three years, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. We need a base of financial support that matches the strength and stability of the orchestra itself. And to do that, we have to keep finding ways to better connect with our community. I love Portland, and the challenges, and I’m grateful that the board has agreed to extend my contract. Carlos and many of the musicians have written to extend their support, and that means a lot to me as well.”
Before moving to Portland, Calder provided executive leadership for more than two decades for several major Canadian arts institutions, including the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto and the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
She also served six years as managing director of the Edmonton Symphony in central Alberta, where she led a multiyear, multimillion-dollar financial recovery. During her tenure the Edmonton Symphony gave its first performances at Canada’s National Arts Centre, released its first recording in many years and recruited Music Director William Eddins.
Calder also spent two years in Connecticut as managing director of one of America's foremost regional theater companies, the Hartford Stage. She regularly serves on juries, panels and boards in both Canada and the United States and is currently serving on Travel Portland’s Downtown Retail & Marketing Advisory Council.
She is married to retired attorney (and U.S. citizen) William Bennett, now holds a green card and permanent U.S. resident status and recently bought a home in downtown Portland.
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