The Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 2008, to enrich the lives and the cultural climate of the community through the presentation of concerts and educational programs, liaise and collaborate with other arts organizations and community groups, and provide diverse performing opportunities for musicians from York Region. In essence, the RHPO is a community orchestra for the community. A not-for-profit organization, the orchestra depends on funding from gifts, grants, fundraising projects, and by performing concerts. Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra is comprised of   professional, amateur, and talented university and high school student musicians. The age range of the musicians span 13 years old to those with significantly more life experience. The orchestra represents cultures from across the globe and its musicians practice daily professions from every area of the community.

The orchestra’s inaugural performance at the Gala Opening of the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2009 was an opportunity for the orchestra to make a genuine impact on and fortify ties to the community. Since then, the RHPO has presented unique concerts regularly in the Richmond Hill community, performs a five-concert season at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, and special concerts throughout each season. The RHPO Chamber Players include harmoniemusik, string, woodwind, and brass ensembles, who are in high demand to perform at various events in Richmond Hill and beyond. They have performed for community fundraising events, ceremonies and celebrations. The RHPO has forged special partnerships with Seneca College, School of Communication Arts, the “York Region Writers,” “Writers’ Community of York Region (WCYR),” local artist Mari Nicholson, young artists from the community, and George St. Kitts, his band, and singers from the Toronto production of the Lion King. Last season, we formed new partnerships with the “Not Affiliated Big Band,” Shirley V. Ting (artist), Barbara Fris (soprano), Broadway star, Robert Pilon, and continued participation in special events and new ties to the community, including what promises to be a long-lasting partnership with “The Great Lakes’ Touring Chorus,” who joined us on our Last Night At The Proms concert.

Performances by the RHPO feature the finest orchestral repertoire (classical and pops), presented with a landscape of visual stimulation and interactive elements that celebrate music from across the ages and the globe. The RHPO is grateful for the support of the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, the audience members who attend our concerts, and our growing collection of wonderful people serving as volunteers.

In addition to playing concerts with the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra, many RHPO musicians also provide music for special occasions and are eager to share their talents in solo, chamber, and ensemble settings.

The RHPO is continually seeking musicians to expand the orchestra and welcomes  applications from musicians on our website. We also invite interested members of our community to join the RHPO organization as volunteers.

The Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 2008, to enrich the lives and the cultural climate of the community through the presentation of concerts and educational programs, liaise and collaborate with other arts organizations and community groups, and provide diverse performing opportunities for musicians from York Region. In essence, the RHPO is a community orchestra for the community. A not-for-profit organization, the orchestra depends on funding from gifts, grants, fundraising projects, and by performing concerts. Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra is comprised of   professional, amateur, and talented university and high school student musicians. The age range of the musicians span 13 years old to those with significantly more life experience. The orchestra represents cultures from across the globe and its musicians practice daily professions from every area of the community.

The orchestra’s inaugural performance at the Gala Opening of the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2009 was an opportunity for the orchestra to make a genuine impact on and fortify ties to the community. Since then, the RHPO has presented unique concerts regularly in the Richmond Hill community, performs a five-concert season at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, and special concerts throughout each season. The RHPO Chamber Players include harmoniemusik, string, woodwind, and brass ensembles, who are in high demand to perform at various events in Richmond Hill and beyond. They have performed for community fundraising events, ceremonies and celebrations. The RHPO has forged special partnerships with Seneca College, School of Communication Arts, the “York Region Writers,” “Writers’ Community of York Region (WCYR),” local artist Mari Nicholson, young artists from the community, and George St. Kitts, his band, and singers from the Toronto production of the Lion King. Last season, we formed new partnerships with the “Not Affiliated Big Band,” Shirley V. Ting (artist), Barbara Fris (soprano), Broadway star, Robert Pilon, and continued participation in special events and new ties to the community, including what promises to be a long-lasting partnership with “The Great Lakes’ Touring Chorus,” who joined us on our Last Night At The Proms concert.

Performances by the RHPO feature the finest orchestral repertoire (classical and pops), presented with a landscape of visual stimulation and interactive elements that celebrate music from across the ages and the globe. The RHPO is grateful for the support of the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, the audience members who attend our concerts, and our growing collection of wonderful people serving as volunteers.

In addition to playing concerts with the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra, many RHPO musicians also provide music for special occasions and are eager to share their talents in solo, chamber, and ensemble settings.

The RHPO is continually seeking musicians to expand the orchestra and welcomes  applications from musicians on our website. We also invite interested members of our community to join the RHPO organization as volunteers.

RHPO Board of Directors

The RHPO is a Not for Profit organization, incorporated in the province of Ontario and granted Charitable Status by the CRA.  Operation and management are conducted by a team of dedicated volunteers from the community, overseen by a Board of Directors, in accordance with the Corporation’s by-laws.

Jacques is a business-focused results-oriented lawyer with over 20 years of experience in a wide range of fields including broadcasting, information technology, sales, marketing, manufacturing, distribution, telecommunications and intellectual property, both in Canada and around the world. He is currently the Vice-President, General Counsel and Privacy Officer at Numeris

Jacques has extensive management experience, including mentoring, coaching and guiding high performance, business focussed legal teams providing advice and support on major contractual, intellectual property, litigation and regulatory matters in fast moving, rapidly evolving and complex industries (media, broadcasting, technology and mobile telecommunications). Jacques also brings significant experience in strategic planning and corporate governance.

Cathy is a CPA and executive consultant focusing on the financial services industry, leading large regulatory projects. She is president of her community association and vice-chair of the Mississauga Residents Association Network and supports other local non-profits. Cathy loves many types of music and attending concerts and musicals, especially with her daughter, a music student and member of RHPO, playing the French horn. Cathy is passionate about the positive impacts Arts exposure and education provides to students of all ages and looks forward to working with the RHPO Board and the Richmond Hill community.

Sue is a skilled and experienced corporate services officer. With more than 25 years of experience in the private, public and education sectors, she brings a wealth of knowledge around organizational culture and change to the Richmond Hill Symphony Orchestra. With a passion for the arts, education and health-care, Sue’s experience in IT, Finance, HR and capital projects will be well utilized in the Treasurer role. Always learning, as a Director, Sue looks to meaningfully give back to her community in ways that push her own personal and professional limits. Sue is a consummate professional with unassailable ethics and strength of character.

Elisabet is a retired Oil industry administrative professional with considerable experience in all aspects of administration, including executive assistant, project management, customer service representative and customer service training.  She has been an active member of the RHPO board since its inception in 2008, serving in roles including: Secretary, acting Treasurer, President and Director.

Elisabet is an active member and volunteer of the Richmond Hill Garden and Horticultural Society and of the Garden Knitters of the Toronto Needlecraft Guild.  She also spent two years teaching knitting to new Canadians at an Inner City School in Toronto.

Mark, a professional consulting engineer, brings over 20 years of experience in the business world, with project management and executive management experience. He has been an active member of the RHPO since its inception, and has served on the board since its creation.

Ann is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA) with many years of accounting and finance experience gained in the not-for-profit sector, industry and public accounting. Ann is keenly interested in music, and is a donor and subscriber to both Tafelmusik and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She looks forward to melding her professional experience in both paid employment and volunteer boards with her interest in music and cultural endeavours to assist the RHPO in fulfilling its mandate in the Richmond Hill community.

Qazim Kallushi is a General Manager.  Possessing strong leadership qualities and experience of various senior management position in orchestra administration, Qazim has networked extensively within the orchestral community across Canada and internationally.

Qazim has been the RHPO’s General Manager since March 2017. He has served as General Manager of Masterworks of Oakville, Chorus & Orchestra in 2010-2011 and Managing Director of the Albanian National TV Symphony Orchestra from 2005 to 2007. Since 2011 he is also the Executive Director for the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra.

Qazim studied arts administration at Humber College’s Arts Administration Program and the University of Waterloo’s Manage Culture Program. In addition, he has attended professional development programs organized by Cultural Careers Council of Ontario, Orchestras Canada and League of American Orchestras. He is a member of ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) and IAMA (International Artists Managers Association).

Yohann has over 30 years’ experience in the software industry in the UK and Canada. He currently works for EFI Inc. in Richmond Hill as Director for Product Quality. He has served as secretary on the Newmarket Alliance Church board of elders and treasurer on the Lake Wilcox School council. Yohann lives in Richmond Hill with his wife and has been an active member of the RHPO since its inception.

Lisa, a graphic designer and illustrator has lived in Richmond Hill since 1986. She has more than 25 years experience in business management and marketing for companies such as Famous Players, Cineplex Odeon and Computerland in addition to being a partner in a national commercial/industrial electronics distribution firm. Inspired by her lifelong love of the arts, Lisa is committed to bringing the world of art and culture to today’s youth.

Doug graduated from McGill University in 2000 with a Licentiate of Music in performance. During his studies, he enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces as a Bass Trombonist in the Band of the Ceremonial Guard in Ottawa, and following graduation, became a member of the Royal Regiment of Canada in Toronto. In 2008, Doug joined the newly created Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra as a volunteer musician.

In his professional life, Doug has enjoyed a 20-year career in the Financial Services Industry as a compliance officer for large investment management firms.

Jessica V. Kun, a native of Toronto, Canada, is Conductor and Artistic Director of the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra.

She completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting at Arizona State University, where she conducted the Wind Symphony, Wind Ensemble, Chamber Winds, and the Lyric Opera Theatre. She holds Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Education degrees from the University of Calgary (Canada), Master’s Certificate in Conducting from the University of Calgary Wind Conducting Program, and a Master of Music degree in Musicology from the University of Manchester (England), where she conducted the Symphony Orchestra, chamber ensembles, and the New Music Ensemble, as well as civic, professional, and youth orchestras and new music ensembles across the country.

She has conducted string and full orchestras, symphonic and jazz bands, chamber music, contemporary music ensembles, and opera. She has taught and conducted musicians at all levels, from novice to professional, and has written articles for Canadian Music Education journals and curriculum documents for the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Dr. Kun currently serves as Conductor and Associate Professor of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she teaches conducting and orchestration. Her research includes the development of conducting and conducting pedagogy, using digital media, and further studies into emotional contagion and effective gestural communication. Dr. Kun is active as a conductor, adjudicator, and clinician in North America, Great Britain, Europe, and South America.

Heather has been involved with community based organizations and companies in Richmond Hill since the 1970’s, Lion’s club, Scouts Canada, Classicomm, soccer club, HTS and now the RHPO.  Raised in Richmond Hill from the age of 6 and still live here. She has almost always worked for companies in Richmond Hill. Studied at U of T. Richmond Hill is HOME!

Tyler is a current student of music and education at York University. He has been involved in the inception and management of several performance groups throughout the GTA. As part of the younger generation of professional/semi-professional musicians, Tyler brings new perspectives, ideas, and contacts to the RHPO. He has been an active musician in the orchestra for several seasons and has recently taken on the position of principal percussionist and Personnel Manager of the RHPO.

David West has been an active volunteer member of his Richmond Hill community for many years. He believes that the goal of a strong community is accomplished when people get involved in organizations that enrich and build that community.

David has lived in Richmond Hill for over 25 years and has run a successful small business in Richmond Hill for over 30 years.

He is currently serving as a Councillor for Ward 4 in Richmond Hill.

The board is assisted by an Advisory Council, a group of distinguished members of the community, with experience in various areas of business, arts, and community governance.

David Barrow, Mayor of Richmond Hill

Dave Bigelow

Karen Cilevitz, Councillor Ward 5

Majid Jowhari, MP

Costas Menegakis

Justin Mooney, Legal Advisor

Hon. Reza Moridi, MPP

Claire Willison