The OM Alfresco

April 24, 2024 •  By Cécile Andrieu

Dancing in the park with the OM and Centraide

Montréal, April 23, 2024 – This year, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Centraide of Greater Montreal, the Orchestre Métropolitain is joining forces with the organization to offer free concerts to residents of three boroughs.

The concerts will take place at Parc Wilfrid-Bastien in Saint-Léonard on July 9, Parc LaSalle in Lachine on July 10 and Parc Pilon in Montréal-Nord on July 13, all at 7:30 p.m., and will be hosted by Vanessa Destiné. These events will be among the many celebrations held during an exceptional year for Centraide of Greater Montreal, commemorating five decades of solidarity, generosity, and social impact.

This anniversary will be marked by activities that showcase the organization’s history, presence and community engagement. “In the Greater Montreal area, some 315,000 people are grappling with limited financial resources and can’t afford to take any time to themselves. According to a study, over one-third of the population says they have had to reduce their leisure time due to the increased cost of living,” said Claude Pinard, President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal. “To celebrate our 50th anniversary, we want to give people of all ages the chance to enjoy themselves at an open-air concert. Our goal is to provide them with a memorable experience through music.”

There will be a festive atmosphere and a musical program featuring international dance music spanning the ages. In one evening, you’ll be transported from the Viennese Court with a waltz by Strauss to a Romani wagon with Brahms’s Hungarian Dances and under the Spanish sun with Manuel De Falla. Then you’ll be taken to the streets of New York City with Bernstein and back to the Québécois countryside with a dance by Claude Champagne.

This musical program weaves together diverse cultures, painting a portrait where each piece and nation has its own colour. The love of music and dance crosses borders, bringing together people from all backgrounds, just as this concert welcomes families and neighbours to a local park for an unforgettable summer night.

A tremendous conductore cheffe épatante

The charismatic Naomi Woo will be back on the podium for this concert series. The OM’s artistic partner won over audiences during open-air concerts in 2023 and will surely get people dancing this summer with her infectious enthusiasm.

A member of the first cohort of the OM’s Orchestral Conducting Academy, Naomi was selected by Yannick Nézet-Séguin in 2023 as the orchestra’s new artistic partner.

She will also act as his assistant conductor for the Philadelphia Orchestra starting in the 2024–25 season and has been named music director of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada.

Festive atmosphere

You don’t need to be a music expert or dressed to the nines to enjoy these free concerts. On the contrary! Bring a picnic for the family, let the kids run around and wear your favourite Hawaiian shirt … Outdoor concerts were meant to be as accessible as possible.

As the concerts take place outside, they are subject to cancellation due to weather conditions. This will only happen if rain or the risk of thunderstorms prevents the musicians from playing safely. In this event, the concert will not be moved to another date.

The OM Alfresco – From July 9 to 13, 2024
Presented by par Centraide of Greater Montreal

  • Saint-Léonard, Parc Wilfrid-Bastien, Tuesday, July 9, 7:30 p.m.
  • Lachine, Parc LaSalle, Wednesday, July 10, 7:30 p.m.
  • Montréal-Nord, Parc Pilon, Saturday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.

On the program

  • Johann STRAUSS – Kaiser-Walzer
  • Antonin DVORAK – Slavonic Dances, Op. 46. No. 3
  • Johannes BRAHMSHungarian Dance No. 5
  • Mel BONISDanse sacrée
  • George BIZET Carmen Suite No. 1
  • Claude CHAMPAGNEDanse villageoise
  • Leonard BERNSTEINThree Dances from « Fancy Free »
  • Florence PRICEDances in the Canebrakes
  • Manuel DE FALLAEl sombrero de tres picos, Suite no 1
  • Silvestre REVUELTAS Janitzio

Conducted by Naomi Woo
Hosted by Vanessa Destiné

About Centraide of Greater Montreal 

Centraide of Greater Montreal will celebrate its 50th anniversary until August 2024. A full range of activities have been planned in the coming weeks to mark the occasion. For more information, visit:

A true agent of change, Centraide of Greater Montreal is a public foundation whose mission is to bring people together and take action for an inclusive and poverty-free Greater Montreal. To achieve this goal, it supports a network of 375 community agencies and projects in Laval, in Montreal and on the South Shore that improve the living conditions of vulnerable people. Centraide works with the Greater Montreal population and with communities, businesses, institutions and philanthropic organizations. Its history dates back 50 years, when five charities merged into one entity. In 2023, Centraide invested $61.8 million in the community, which represents over 86% of the money raised. Every year, nearly 800,000 people benefit from the help of the agencies that it supports.

About the Orchestre Métropolitain

A key Québécois cultural ambassador, the Orchestre Métropolitain (the OM for those in the know) has created a unique relationship with the public through its initiatives driven by excellence and emotion. Whether the OM is performing at the Maison symphonique de Montréal or in the city’s boroughs as part of the Conseil des Arts de Montréal Touring Program, each concert is an opportunity for our music to resonate with the audience.

For 25 years, the OM has grown alongside its Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin to develop a bold, modern and timely offer. This shared vision has led the conductor and his orchestra to sign a lifetime contract, a rare commitment in the history of classical music, giving them the chance to develop a unique, distinct personality full of intention.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s flourishing international career has had a positive impact on the OM, bringing the ensemble to some of the world’s greatest stages (Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Philharmonie de Paris, Verizon Hall in Philadelphia) with a European tour in 2017, followed by a US tour in 2019. Invited back to Carnegie Hall in spring 2024, the ensemble took this opportunity to organize a tour of three American cities (New York, Philadelphia and Worcester) and is planning a second European tour for 2025. The orchestra has capitalized on each of these opportunities to promote the talent of local composers and musicians across the globe.

From its founding in 1981, the OM’s mission has been to introduce children to music, foster a passion for music among young people and support emerging musicians. Thanks to its many cultural and educational initiatives like its in-school activities, the OMNI Music Competition and the Orchestral Conducting Academy, which gives Yannick Nézet-Séguin the chance to pass down his craft to the next generation of conductors, the orchestra has built a strong relationship with community members of all ages.

The OM in numbers:

  • 42 years of music
  • 21 albums
  • 15 Opus and 7 Félix awards
  • 14 international concerts
  • 1,268 ovations, each just as memorable as the last

Discover the 2024–25 season, click here.