Association of Norwegian Theatres and Orchestras – About us

Association of Norwegian Theatres and Orchestras (Norsk teater- og orkesterforening – NTO) is an association for cultural organizations within the field of professional performing arts.

Association of Norwegian Theatres and Orchestras, an employers and industry association, represents 51 cultural organizations across Norway within the fields of theatre, music, opera and dance. Our members represent national and regional theatres, producing and programming theatres, opera and ballet companies, orchestras and other music institutions and ensembles.

The association shall seek influence as a leading and credible party in regards to issues concerning the sector, and emphasize the significance of the sector to the state, county, municipality and the public. Association of Norwegian Theatres and Orchestras aims to give their member organizations the best conditions so as to carry out and develop their professional artistic activities and to assist them in meeting the expectations and demands placed upon them as responsible employers.

The association was founded in 1962 under the name of The Norwegian Theatres Association. In 1989 the Norwegian symphony orchestras became members, and the association changed its name.

From the statutes

NTO shall:

  • Help their members in becoming professional and efficient employers.
  • Make sure artistic considerations are the foundation for any resolution made by the subsidy authorities, as well as in negotiations with employee-unions.
  • Emphasize the significance of the sector to the state, county, municipality and the public.
  • Seek influence as a leading and credible party in regards to issues concerning the sector.
  • Have as a goal that professional art should be available to as many as possible.
  • Actively contribute towards building and maintaining national, Nordic and international networks within the area of musical and stage art.
  • Negotiate agreements on behalf of their members with goods- and services contractors.

As an association for employers, NTO negotiates agreements on behalf of their members with the following trade unions:

In 1989 NTO entered into an agreement with NAVO (todays Spekter) which is an association for employers, and from 2014 NTO holds offices together with Spekter. Most of NTO's members are also members of Spekter, and they are therefore governed by Spekters main agreement and negotiation procedures.


The Hedda Awards

In 1989 the Association of Norwegian Theatres and Orchestras inaugurated the Hedda awards (Heddaprisen), in honour of the Henrik Ibsen character and play “Hedda Gabler”. HEDDA has become a prestigious and sought-after Norwegian theatre award and a popular celebration of Norwegian theatre. The ceremony features 12 awards and takes place in June in one of the associations member theatres.


Networks and conferences

NTO organizes several conferences, workshops and meetings for the member organizations and the industry on relevant topics throughout the year.

NTO coordinates two leadership networks amongst the members and in the industry:

NTO is one of four owners of the online newspaper, together with The Norwegian Actors' Equity Association, The Norwegian Dancers Association and Performing Arts Hub Norway, that organizes the non-institutional groups.

NTO is a member of PEARLE* (Performing Arts Employers Associations Leauge Europe). PEARLE is a European organization that unites employers and producers in the field of performing arts (theatre, opera, dance and orchestral music).  

NTO is member of the network Nordic Theatre Leader Council and part of the working committee of the Nordic Orchestra Conference, which takes place annually in one of the Nordic countries.

Audience and activity report

NTO is commissioned by the Ministry of Culture to allocate and present the audience and activity reports and statistics of the members. The members are also obliged to send annual reports to the Ministry.

Publisert: 04.09.2012 Oppdatert: 08.04.2020

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