There was no official head count to gauge the success of Symphony Splash by crowd size, but donations were up for the annual Inner Harbour event.
Victoria Symphony executive director Mitchell Krieger said volunteers collected more than $40,000 in donations last Sunday, up from $38,000 in 2013.
“I think this was pretty good, in terms of the history of on-site collections,” Krieger said.
He estimated that more than 40,000 people attended, calling it the biggest crowd in the past three or four years.
The event started at 1 p.m. with children’s activities, food vendors and dancing. The symphony took the stage — a barge floating in the harbour — at 7:30 p.m. for a two-hour concert that ended with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, punctuated by carillon bells, cannon blasts and fireworks.
On-site fundraising is only a small part of the Symphony Splash budget — it costs about $300,000 to put on the show, which is mostly covered through in-kind donations and volunteer labour, as well as government support. On-site fundraising also helps cover those costs.
“When you count everything, Splash does not make money for the symphony — it’s our gift to the community,” Krieger said.
“There’s really not any significant surplus.”
Krieger said the symphony’s first collaboration with a choir went off without a hitch. Vox Humana sang the final movement from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under the direction of Brian Wismath, who co-ordinated with Symphony maestra Tania Miller to keep everyone in sync.
“It was wonderful,” Krieger said.