About Us

About Xenia Concerts

Xenia Concerts was launched by the internationally acclaimed Cecilia String Quartet in 2014 as a pilot program that aimed to address a barrier in the arts: people living with autism are often not welcome at concerts because they tend to express themselves in ways that are often frowned upon at traditionally organized events. After spending a year consulting with caregivers, healthcare experts, and community members, the Cecilia Quartet presented a series of three concerts designed to welcome and appeal to children and families within the autism community. These first concerts, which took place at The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts (now Meridian Hall), received enormous acclaim for their quality and accessibility. 

Since becoming a registered charity in 2017, we have continued to grow and now present between 25 and 30 concerts per year to children, youth, and their families in the GTA and across Canada. Our events have also extended beyond the autism community to provide family-friendly, accessible programming to the broader neurodiversity community, the disability community (including Deaf-friendly performances with musical ASL), the dementia community, and older adults with low income. While the circle of inclusion continues to expand, our programming continues to focus primarily on children and youth in the GTA, with roughly 90 percent of our programming directed at this population.

Our Three Pillars

There are three pillars to our work at Xenia Concerts: community engagement, artistic excellence, and knowledge sharing

Through community engagement activities such as the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Youth Council, the Accessibility Accelerator, and the recently completed sound.colLAB, we engage directly with people with lived experience with neurodiversity and disability to inform our accessibility practices, design events, and even co-create original pieces of music.

To ensure that our audiences have access to the highest levels of artistic excellence, as well as the best possible musical experiences, we work with some of Canada’s finest musicians, providing them with the training and support they need to design neurodiversity- and disability-friendly concerts. Our ever-expanding roster of exceptional artists includes classical piano quartet Ensemble Made In Canada, TorQ Percussion Ensemble, international folk fusion ensemble Moskitto Bar, JUNO-winning Afro-Cuban jazz/roots ensemble OKAN, Argentine tango ensemble Payadora, folk/classical fusion group Ladom Ensemble, and R&B artists Kyla Charter and James Baley.

Having developed a deep understanding of accessibility and inclusive design practices, our knowledge sharing activities promote a better understanding of accessibility and inclusion throughout the broader arts community through workshops, presentations, and panel discussions. 

Eight years after our founding, Xenia Concerts presents over 20 concerts per year to an ever growing audience of individuals living with neurodiversity, disability, and their families. We are leading the way in designing and presenting accessible concerts for young music-lovers who face barriers to inclusion, and we hope that you and your loved ones will join us very soon for a concert!