Calgary’s art and music community has experienced a great loss with the passing of Richard (Dick) Matthews, one of the founders of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
Matthews passed away in the morning on October 2 at the age of 93.
Supporters of the arts and music community are acknowledging the impact Matthews had on Calgary’s art and music scene. The CPO is what it is today because of Matthews’ 59 years of support: he sponsored numerous concerts, educational activities and building projects. And in 2005 he donated millions to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation’s endowment fund.
The CPO wasn’t always as strong and established as it is today. In 2002, the orchestra was in debt and closure was a very real possibility. Administrative staff were let go and musicians’ wages were cut by 20 per cent. Now, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra has a reserve and no debt; it is one of the few orchestras in Canada to be debt-free and offer competitive wages.
In 2010, Matthews was awarded the Order of Canada for his support of the arts community.