Oh, Canada

You may be planning more summer trips to Niagara.

According to today’s Toronto Star, the National Arts Centre (NAC) and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) plan to establish a major new summer music festival. Presently, they’re calling it Project Niagara. The Shaw Festival folk are thrilled.

The performances would be held on a covered stage area with lots of seating on the lawn.

From May to September, this “Tanglewood North” would be a place to hear the NAC Orchestra conducted by Pinchas Zukerman and the TSO, led by Peter Oundjian.

Plans have been in the works for about 2 years now. Firms are hired, sketches drawn. Peter Herrndorf, CEO of the National Arts Centre, told Toronto Star reporter Martin Knelman that if the money comes in, they’re talking about opening in 2011 or 2012.

How such an international venue might affect summer audiences for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic remains to be seen.