KSO boss bidding farewell
Kristen Holliday - Mar 10, 2023 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Kamloops Symphony Orchestra will be saying farewell to its executive director later this spring.

Daniel Mills took the job with the KSO in June 2019 and led the society through the COVID-19 pandemic, a particularly challenging time for arts organizations.

In a news release, KSO said Mills will be leaving in mid-May, moving back to his hometown of Calgary to take on the role of director of development at Arts Commons, Western Canada’s largest performing arts centre.

John McDonald, chair of the KSO board, said in a statement he shared this news with “bittersweet feelings.”

“Daniel and KSO music director Dina Gilbert continually pushed the artistic envelope of our local symphony by presenting innovative and vibrant programming,” he said.

According to KSO, Mills had a passion for making orchestral music accessible to a wider audience.

The society said KSO was among the first orchestras in Canada to provide all-digital performances during a time of COVID-19 restrictions, streaming eleven full-length online concerts.

“During the challenging years of the pandemic, Daniel led the way in bringing music to the people when the people couldn’t bring themselves to the music,” the society wrote in its statement.

Mills embarked on a special solo fundraiser in 2020, running every street in the city to raise more than $25,000 for the KSO. He covered nearly 900 kilometres over 72 days.

“Daniel delivered three consecutive balanced budgets during a time when many arts organizations were struggling,” the society said.

“He forged strong relationships with other arts organizations, including Western Canada Theatre, Kamloops Art Gallery and Kamloops Film Society, setting the stage for future collaborative ventures.”

KSO said Mills also played a critical role in transitioning the KSO and music school to its new home at Kelson Hall.

Mills said he will miss much about the Kamloops community.

“I will truly cherish the countless individuals I have met and will be forever grateful for the generosity and vibrancy demonstrated by those in the region,” he said in a statement.

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