However, the 1970s saw Overture Concerts Association move from sole affiliation with local groups to become one of the largest tour-planning organizations in Canada. Its role amid the smaller communities in British Columbia, which Zukerman continues to regard as important, is carried out by Celebrity Concerts Society (of which Zukerman is executive director), which operates under the aegis of Overture Concerts Association. By 1990 the association operated from coast to coast and had presented, since its inception, some 11,500 concerts with a total budget of $7 million in artists' fees. The bookings frequently involve major international ensembles in large centres, eg, the Moscow Philharmonic, USSR State Symphony, and the Shostakovitch and Borodin Quartets, but remote regions are not neglected; for instance, in 1989, under Celebrity Concerts Society, the Vancouver Wind Trio toured the Stikine area (including Telegraph Creek) in British Columbia, the Cassenti Players undertook a coastal schools tour to remote communities and, under Overture Concerts Association in 1990, Party Fever (a Vancouver a capella vocal quartet) performed in the Northwest Territories. The nature of the tours, however, has changed: in the 1960s and early 1970s a group might give 20 to 30 concerts, while in the 1990s the usual number ranges from 5 to 10. Nevertheless, the association's impact on the national scene is impressive, and there is an average of 500 concert bookings per year.
Author Max Wyman, Bryan N.S. Gooch