The mandate of New Orchestra Workshop Society (NOW) is to provide a focus for the creation of an original West Coast musical idiom through concert performances and recordings, supporting the creation of new Canadian compositions, and offering free educational workshops to the public.
NOW and its flagship ensemble Orkestra Futura exist to create, develop and provide a focus for original music that fuses composition with improvisation and is distinctly a product of the Canadian West Coast experience. We are committed to providing opportunities for musicians to gain musical experience and exposure to an improvisational community of creative artists and audiences. By producing recordings, concerts and tours, NOW and Orkestra Futura engage in adventurous work and offer composers a context in which to develop new compositions. Canadian audiences benefit by exposure to local and international artists who are making a lasting contribution to improvisational music. We also develop and implement workshops to explore improvised music and its relationship to other disciplines such as dance, theatre, spoken word, video and film.
Orkestra Futura traces its roots through the NOW Orchestra to Vancouver’s C.O.R.D. Orchestra (Community Orchestra for Research and Development) of the late 1970s. Inspired by the exploration of improvisation in a large ensemble context, Orkestra Futura continues to explore how the composed form and improvisation can best enhance each other. Boasting a 23-year history, this ensemble is rightly renowned for its longevity and creative output of improvised music. Under the NOW umbrella (in its 33rd year), Orkestra Futura is the only ensemble of its kind in Canada – an improvisational group with a unique West Coast music style.