Kathy Humphreys says goodbye to Kamloops Symphony Orchestra

After nearly three decades in the role, the executive director of the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra (KSO) will be stepping down from her position this summer.

Kathy Humphreys is retiring, the KSO board of directors announced Monday afternoon (Jan. 21).

"The idea of not coming here...It's going to be so different," Humphreys tells KamloopsMatters. 

The longtime arts proponent started with KSO in 1990, when the non-profit's yearly budget was only $160,000. It started in a basement room and has since moved to Station Plaza on Lorne Street.

"I think we put on five orchestra concerts," she recalls. "Now, it's more like 10 programs each year. It's evolved into a professional orchestra. Our budget is over one million."


Humphreys also oversaw the establishment of a music school and many educational programs in and outside of schools. In 2009, KSO introduced the Salmon Arm concert series.

"We developed that into a successful and ongoing series," she says.

Humphreys was awarded the Orchestras Canada Betty Webster Award a few years ago. The national accolade recognizes those who have provided outstanding service to Canada's orchestral community. 

"Kathy will leave a legacy," says Bruce Dunn, a longtime colleague of Humphreys' and KSO's music director emeritus. "The region has benefited and will continue to benefit from the results of her administrative skills over the years."

As for what retirement holds, Humphreys says she plans to spend more time with her children and grandchildren, and do some travelling. She's not ruling out part-time gigs or volunteering. 

"I'm actually just exploring my options," she says. "I'm not one to be hanging at home all day, so we'll see."

Her last day will be June 30, 2019. 

Humphreys notes she plans on helping out with the proposed performing arts centre, in whatever capacity. Part of the $70-million project includes moving the KSO offices into the Telus Annex Building and giving the orchestra a permanent home.

"I'd always hoped I'd be there for the opening. And I will be. I just won't be there as the executive director," she says.

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