Symphony Nova Scotia reveals a pandemic-style fall line-up

The fall season will include a mix of online activities and smaller-scale in-person events

While Symphony Nova Scotia's fall season will consist of online and smaller-scale concerts it continues to plan for a return to the concert hall.
While Symphony Nova Scotia's fall season will consist of online and smaller-scale concerts it continues to plan for a return to the concert hall.

In an announcement, Symphony Nova Scotia revealed a fall line-up that will reflect the new normal for most arts groups during the pandemic, with a mix of online activities and smaller-scale in-person events.

“We’ve developed these plans with a variety of partners, presenters, and funders throughout our community, and as always, safety during these challenging times remains a top priority,” says Symphony Nova Scotia CEO Chris Wilkinson in the announcement.

The Symphony’s fall season will get underway on October 19 with the 13th annual Symphony Week. While the full week-long schedule of online events and free physically distanced community concerts has yet to be finalized, one highlight already announced is a virtual behind the scenes look at the world of symphonic music with music director Holly Mathieson and artist-in-residence Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser.

In its Compact Community Concerts series, groups of Symphony musicians will perform in shortened, socially distanced concerts for live and online audiences in venues throughout Halifax and Dartmouth.

The Fusion Sessions will welcome back popular local artists from some of the Symphony’s past concerts for online performances. Some of the artists scheduled to perform are J.P. Cormier, Mo Kenney, Reeny and Mahalia Smith, Jane Archibald, and Heather Rankin.

And don’t forget the holiday season. While the pandemic may have postponed Nutcracker’s 30th-anniversary production until 2021, this year the Symphony will instead present the all-new online Nutcracker in a Nutshell this December in partnership with Halifax Dance and Mermaid Theatre.

Alongside the virtual and smaller-scale in-person concerts, the Symphony will also play host to several Live Learning Workshops, continue its education and outreach programs and in Enough Room: A Music Learning Project will explore diversity and inclusivity within the music world.

The Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra will continue with a full slate of activities with detailed safety protocols in place.

“Alongside these new experiences, Symphony Nova Scotia also continues to actively plan for our return to the concert hall,” says Wilkinson. “Sharing live music together on a large scale remains a crucial part of our mission, and we look forward to safely resuming our much-missed regular performances as soon as financial and logistical conditions permit.”

The condensing 2020-2021 season has allowed Symphony Nova Scotia to compress costs into a smaller time frame and to keeping its musicians and staff employed.

“We have reduced expenses wherever possible, focusing on our primary goal of surviving the pandemic and continuing to share the joy of music with our fellow Nova Scotians during this time of unprecedented stress and upheaval,” says Wilkinson.

While the full details of Symphony Nova Scotia’s fall and upcoming spring season are still to be finalized, you can stay informed by visiting for more information.