Founded in 1919 under the moniker Vancouver Symphony Society, The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) stands as a vibrant emblem of Canada’s musical prowess, calling Vancouver, British Columbia, its artistic home. Since 1977, the resonant notes of the VSO have graced the stage of the Orpheum, an iconic venue within the esteemed Vancouver Civic Theatres ensemble, alongside the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, the Vancouver Playhouse, and the Annex. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the VSO boasted the most substantial subscription list among symphonies in North America, a testament to its magnetic musical allure.
In the present day, the VSO proudly claims its position as the third largest symphony orchestra in Canada, holding the esteemed title of the largest performing arts organization in Western Canada. The orchestra continues to weave its sonic tapestry with an impressive annual repertoire of 140 concerts, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of the region.
This alluring program cover, conceived for VSO events in January 1981, emerged from the collaboration of the young Graham Walker and Andrew Lau, occasional creative partners. As part of the extensive 1980/81 concert year series, Western Capital Trust, a design client of Walker’s, generously sponsored the project, setting the stage for its distinctive realization. Executed in four spot colours — burgundy, blue, metallic silver, and black — the layout embodies an abstract interpretation of ascending musical notes, expressed through minimal geometric forms and a harmonious interplay of colour. The handwritten title, crafted by Andrew Lau, stands as a testament to preserving the inherent purity of the geometric graphic elements.