A Great Year for the VRS!

logoThe Vancouver Recital Society held its Annual General Meeting recently to celebrate some of the successes of the past year, and by any measure, 2013-14 was an extremely successful year for the VRS.

Selling out seven concerts – in the Orpheum, Chan Centre and Vancouver Playhouse theatres – meant that ticket sales doubled from the season before. And the good news continues into this season, with subscription income for 2014-15 up 20% over last year.

After undertaking the largest consultation project in our history, the VRS was successfully rebranded with a vibrant new look that is instantly recognizable online and in print, and we adopted a new Mission, Vision and Values to guide us.

IMG_8772I have also worked hard to enhance every aspect of the patron experience, improving everything from how our phones are answered to how tickets are received (and now even printed at home), including a new look for our concert programs and a new voice writing our program notes — Donald Gislason.

And we completely streamlined the VRS website experience, which now features at-a-glance videos of every artist and a much simpler process to buy concert tickets online.

Yet despite these investments in rebranding, technology and infrastructure, our audited statements show the VRS generated a surplus of $44,000 in the 2013-14 fiscal year. I’m particularly proud of the fact that VRS expenses are lower today than they were seven years ago.

IMG_9345When I first started at the beginning of the 2013-14 season, the organization had lost two Executive Directors in just two years and was at a standstill. But I took on the challenge with the same dedication I’ve demonstrated to the VRS since I became its first intern more than thirty years ago, then later as a member and Vice President of the Board of Directors, and finally as Chair of the Futures Committee.

The VRS has always been a team effort. When we asked for the advice and support of VRS patrons, they engaged with us and came back in record numbers. So it is the entire family of the VRS that should take pride in these accomplishments – staff, everyone that attends concerts, volunteers their time, subscribes to our series, donates to the Society and sponsors our concerts.

Thanks to the entire VRS family, the 2013-14 season was a very good year and one we can all be proud of! And 2014-15 is shaping up equally well.

Sean Bickerton,
Executive Director