Home Workplace News Former OSO music director claiming wrongful dismissal

Former OSO music director claiming wrongful dismissal

by Local Journalism Initiative
By Dan Walton | Penticton Herald

Rosemary Thomspon will be conducting her encore in court.

The former music director of the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra was fired from the position last week, Dec. 1. She said her legal counsel filed a claim for wrongful dismissal against the employer on Friday.

“I’m 100% confident that we will prove they did not have cause which makes them in breach of my contract, and I will be vindicated,” Thomson said in an interview with Okanagan Newspaper Group, claiming the matter is related to a personal vendetta. “This is all heartbreaking and really unnecessary.”

In a press release, Thomson said the firing happened because of allegations relating to a recent OSO concert “with guest artists representing Indigenous cultures and improvisatory traditions outside the OSO’s classical roots, and are without merit.”

An email to the OSO was not responded to prior to press deadline.

Thomson served as music director of the OSO for 16 years. She said she loves the community and hopes to be able to continue making music in the Okanagan.

Through her role as OSO music director, Thomson was given the Honour in the Arts award by the City of Kelowna in 2015, and she won the Community Spirit Award through the BC Provincial Achievement Foundation in 2021.

She is also a national mentor with the Women in Musical Leadership program.

Beyond her musical career, Thomson is also known for her advocacy for people with ADHD. She was featured in a 2017 documentary called “Shiny Objects – The Conductor With ADHD.”

She also wrote a regular column in Okanagan Weekend for several years.

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