Management of Toronto orchestra group resigns after email sent to vocalists about weight

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WATCH ABOVE: More singers speak out after receiving email from Sheraton Cadwell Orchestras about body weight. Farah Nasser has more – Aug 24, 2017

A Toronto orchestra group that sent an email to its vocalists saying only “fit and slim” singers would be showcased at its boutique performances has announced its management team has immediately resigned.

“With our resignation, our financial funding for the Sheraton Cadwell community service project and music training program will also be terminated forthwith with much regret and, as such, the entire organisation (sic) will cease to exist in due course,” an email from “the management” of Sheraton Cadwell Orchestras sent to Global News affiliate station AM640 Thursday afternoon read.

“We sincerely apologize for any embarrassment/harassment that you may experience from media representatives or other individuals/parties as a result of misconstrued/malicious allegations and extremely negative/destructive/evil intent.”

READ MORE: Only ‘fit and slim’ singers will be showcased in boutique performances: Toronto orchestra email

It’s not clear who wrote the email or who specifically resigned.

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The statement comes after singers shared an email with Global News Wednesday that came from Sheraton Cadwell Orchestras outlining expectations for singers.

“While our orchestra do not require our instrumental musicians to look physically fit and slim since they are essentially background wallpaper, kindly be reminded that we have a different expectation from the singers that we selectively choose to feature in our live shows, for our own purposes and at our discretion,” it said in part.

“As per our highly selective casting requirements for vocal artists taking on a prominent leading role on stage, only singers who are physically fit and slim (or at the very least, those who know how to dress strategically/suitably in order to not bring attention to their temporary physical/dietary indulgences) would be showcased with our boutique orchestras.”

When asked for comment on the email and accusations of body shaming, Global News received a brief response Wednesday night only saying, “This is to acknowledge that your email has been with much regret. We hope that you will accept our sincere apologies.”

In Thursday’s statement, it said the organization met “all of [it’s] corporate objectives/goals … many years ago” and the project is ending.

“As a corporate entity, we blossomed like a transient pretty little wild flower in the vast unforgiving Canadian wilderness over the years and served our purpose to our Creator for a long time with much humility, joy and good humour,” the statement read.

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READ MORE: Online body shaming trends paint unrealistic image of ‘perfect’ body

“So now, with much sadness and sorrow in our hearts, it is time to accept and celebrate the inevitable passing/demise of yet another beautiful thing/experience in our lives.”

Victoria Leone, a vocalist who did one performance under the orchestra, was one of the singers Global News spoke with about the email and said she left the organization because of it, calling the email “highly inappropriate.”

Leone said Thursday she received the resignation email.

“It was very disappointing to hear that they feel our discussion about the body-shaming situation was a ‘malicious and evil’ attempt at shutting down the organization,” she said.

“This was never the intent from any of the girls who’ve spoken out and I feel that all we simply wanted was a sincere apology.”

With files from Dave Woodard and Alana Macleod

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