XENIA CONCERTS was launched by the Cecilia String Quartet during the 2014/2015 season as a pilot program to address a barrier in the arts: people living with autism often do not feel welcomed to attend classical concerts because they have tendencies to move around and make sound during the performance. Despite this unfortunate reality, recent scholarship shows that live classical concerts make powerful impressions on those with autism, and can greatly improve their quality of life. In order to address this need, the members of the Cecilia String Quartet spent a year learning about and connecting with members of the Toronto autism community. They took what they learned and used it to create a truly accessible series of classical concerts that welcomes people affected by autism and disability. These first concerts were met with enormous praise, and in response to continuing demand to accessible arts programming, Xenia Concerts Inc. is now a registered charity devoted to creating a accessible arts events for all members of society who may not have access due to physical, mental, or financial barriers.
Xenia Concerts Inc. firmly believes that concerts should be inclusive events that enrich the lives of all types of audiences, and that everyone deserves equal access to high quality live performances of classical music. Our unique approach to programming makes these chamber music performances more accessible and appealing for audiences who self-identify as having little or no access to traditional concerts, while at the same time maintaining a commitment to presenting internationally recognized artists performing at the highest standard. Whether Xenia is presenting for members of the autism community, or other individuals or groups who want better access to the arts, Xenia Concerts happen in spaces that allow audiences to listen in the way they feel most comfortable, even if this means moving around and making sound. Audience members can sit, stand, dance, and play with toys as they enjoy the music.
Xenia Concerts Inc. officially became a Registered Charity in May of 2017. Xenia Concerts Inc. is grateful to have a number of supportive partner organizations that help us bring Xenia Concerts to communities across Canada. In the future, Xenia Concerts Inc. will develop new projects that will bring incredible music and art to every person in society regardless of what might stand in their way.