Business Number: 888078938RR0001

Our Mission

The mandate of New Orchestra Workshop is to provide a focus for creation of an original West Coast musical idiom through concert performances and recordings, supporting creation of new Canadian compositions, and offering free educational workshops to the public. Our artistic mission is to create, develop and provide a focus for an original sounding music, which is distinctly Canadian West Coast. Our audiences benefit by exposure to local and international artists who are making a lasting contribution to improvisational music. We also explore improvised music and its relationship to other disciplines such as dance, theatre, spoken word, video and film.


The NOW Orchestra traces its roots 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, the NOW Orchestra has picked up where C.O.R.D. left off and continues to explore how the composed form and improvisation can best enhance each other.

Boasting a 20-year history, the NOW Orchestra is rightly renowned for its longevity and creative output of improvised music. Under the umbrella of the New Orchestra Workshop Society (in its 30th year), the NOW Orchestra is a 15-piece improvising ensemble that has gained local, national and international acclaim for its past work. It is the only ensemble of its kind in Canada – an improvisational group with a unique West Coast music style. Deriving from both big band jazz and contemporary new music, the NOW Orchestra has a sound all its own.

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