Not quite as nice as endowing them, but still…
A local insurance company has recently bought chairs for the musicians of the Winnepeg Symphony:
Thanks to long-time corporate sponsor Wawanesa Insurance, the Winnipeg Symphony proudly introduced new orchestra chairs earlier this season. “These chairs were specially designed for each WSO musician, taking into account their respective height and ergo-dynamic requirements. We went the extra mile to ensure the safety, comfort and physical health of our valued musicians,” said Jean-Francois Phaneuf, Director of Artistic Operations. Two suppliers were engaged in the process, Concert Design and Wenger, and the musicians were consulted as to their specific chair requirements. In fact, each chair is personalized with their respective names.
George Bass, Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary, Wawanesa Insurance, is delighted to support the musicians in this way. “It was a natural fit with us as an insurance company – looking out for the best interests of the musicians’ physical health allows us to partner with the WSO in a productive way so that they can continue to provide exceptional musical experiences for all Manitobans.”
This is a good idea on the merits as well as the optics. There’s no question that chairs that are actually designed for individual musicians are going to make them more comfortable and reduce the odds of some work-related injuries.
Of course it’s also cheaper than actually endowing those chairs by about four orders of magnitude. But, as they say about those conductors at the bottom of the ocean – it’s a good start.