2011 Canadian Orchestra Website Review: Detailed Scores Plus US & Canadian Comparison

Designed to provide additional information about how each orchestra fared in the reviews, the detailed scores drill down to provide data for each of the six categories. Additionally, the average score for each category is provided so as to provide an additional frame of reference for how well each group performed.


Perhaps the most valuable component in this installment is the inclusion of responses from an open-ended essay question in the surveys orchestras completed as part of the reviews which provides the opportunity for each group to include any additional information they feel is relevant to their respective website. As such, those essay responses are provided via tooltips in the following charts, so if you see an orchestra name with a link attached, you’ll find the additional information there.

The 2001 Orchestra Website Review data is only available at Adaptistration Premium; get your subscription today.


Edmonton Symphony Survey

Each year, orchestras in the review are invited to complete an optional survey designed to provide readers with information about each orchestra’s website that go beyond the items included in the review, such as ticket sales information and design details. Although several Canadian groups completed surveys, only one group provided permission to publish their responses (thank you Edmonton!).

US & Canadian Comparisons: Category by Category

The differences between US and Canadian average category score strengths and weaknesses were, for the most part, close. There was no doubt that the enhanced grading criteria had a noticeable impact on both groups, but after the scores were tallied, each side ended up winning an equal number of categories although the average cumulative scores favored US orchestras by a mere 2.65 points (US=59.83, Canada=57.18). The following table breaks down the results.

The 2001 Orchestra Website Review data is only available at Adaptistration Premium; get your subscription today.

Although most categories had very close scores, the average US orchestra excelled at providing better persuasion triggers on landing pages, such as direct ticket purchase links for upcoming events. Similarly, the average US orchestra provided a better Smartphone optimized user experience.

Looking Ahead To 2012

The 2012 reviews will prove interesting as both US and Canadian groups have plenty of room to break out and improve their respective scores. And to that end, both groups have done an excellent job over the years making steady progress and there’s no reason to think the same won’t happen from now to next year’s review.

To that end, every orchestra in the review should take a moment to review the content from the Time For Some Triage article at the end of the US website review installments as a guide for rapid improvement.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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0 thoughts on “2011 Canadian Orchestra Website Review: Detailed Scores Plus US & Canadian Comparison”

    • Hi Jon,

      The Canadian orchestras were compiled with a little help from Orchestra Canada to see which ones conformed to the review criteria which consists of budget size and whether or not the ensemble is a member of any of the musician player conferences (so in this case, the latter would be OCSM).

      I’m always happy to add groups provided they meet the criteria and a representative from the respective ensembles can always get in touch with me directly to provide the info. A notice about all of this is always posted in advance of each year’s reviews.

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