Choral Canada – May 2020 Updates and Upcoming Events

Dear friends of choral music in Canada,

We here at Choral Canada are hoping that you and yours are all safe and healthy.

Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees… Even though our collective voices have been temporarily silenced, choral singing, which has endured for over 800 years, will definitely survive – it is bigger than COVID-19 and its rate of spread is at least as powerful. We all know there are good reasons for this, from the social aspects, to musical fulfillment, to mental health benefits, choral singing holds advantages for all who participate.

We must take advantage of this time to prepare for what is to come. This virus is indeed powerful, but it has not compromised our individual vocal abilities, our intellectual capacities, our ingenuity, our musicianship or our resolve. It has just temporarily prevented us from exploiting and developing all of these abilities while in the same room. We are all somewhat powerless when it comes to the progression and outcome of COVID’s current global reign, but we absolutely hold the reins to our own individual destinies. We at Choral Canada encourage you, whether you are a conductor, a chorister, an accompanist, a composer, a student or an arts administrator, to work on you becoming the best version of yourself in whatever function you hold in choral singing, so that when we are finally able to gather again, we will be that much further ahead, rather than behind, and the whole will indeed be greater than the sum of all its improved parts.

Important Updates and Events

Post-secondary Choral Leaders Round-Table – Wednesday May 13

You are invited to join us for the University and College Choral Leaders Round-Table on Wednesday May 13 at 4:00 pm Atlantic Time. Join the conversation as we discuss ways ensemble leaders can deliver their services in light of various restriction scenarios, advocate to administration, and more.
Here is the Zoom link.  No RSVP is required.

National Choral Awards CBC Radio’s Choral Concert – Sunday May 17

Please tune into CBC Radio’s Choral Concert from 9 am to 10 am this Sunday, May 17th to hear the live announcement by Katherine Duncan of this year’s winners of Choral Canada’s National Choral Awards. Join us as we celebrate our nation’s champions together!

Podium Cocktail Reception – Sunday May 17

Choral Canada will be hosting an Online Cocktail Reception for its members later that day (Sunday, May 17th), just as we would all have been gathering for Podium’s closing banquet and awards ceremony. We will gather instead by Zoom from the comfort of your own homes (BYOB please!) at   8:00 pm Atlantic Time . It will be wonderful to see all of your faces (and those of your pets) and raise a glass together, sing a song together, hear others sing (a very special guest is planned) and hear messages from leaders from across the country. There will also be a short break-out session or two where you will be able to say hello to your colleagues from across the country. Please mark this on your calendar and register by Thursday, May 14!


National Webinar – Wednesday, May 20

It will not be the aim of the Cocktail Reception to provide information and coping strategies for your choirs and programs as it will be more of a social time. However, three days later, Choral Canada and the provincial choral organizations will be hosting a National Webinar on Wednesday, May 20th at 8 pm Atlantic Time that will seek to provide information and time for Q & A. Many of you may have listened to the recent online NATS/ACDA/Chorus America webinar which left us all a little on edge. This session will seek to provide more Canadian-specific information, both on the science and data as well as its effect on choral singing in the near future. We will close with some great ideas of ways in which you can keep your ensembles growing and engaged and, hopefully, singing during this period of restrictions. This first webinar will aim to feature information applicable to choirs of all types.


Measuring the impact of COVID-19

Thank you to everyone who responded to the first survey regarding the impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian choral community, organized by Choral Canada and the provincial choral organizations. Here is a summary to the results that may provide information and data helpful to you at this time. We are using this data to advocate for your needs, including the letter sent to the Minister of Canadian Heritage in April and recent meetings with Canada Council for the Arts and government officials. We will also be sharing info-graphics with you soon. Watch for our next survey, focusing on your funding needs, coming out soon.

Words of Thanks

Choral Canada would like to express its thanks to all of you who donated either a portion or the totality of their Podium registration fees back to Choral Canada and Alliance Chorale du Québec. We also want to thank the National Youth Choir singers who generously donated a portion of their first deposit to Choral Canada. We so appreciate your generosity in helping us to offset the financial loss associated with cancelling events of this magnitude.

We exist to serve the choral community

We are doing our very best to serve you during these times when you need us most. We are a strong community and choral singing is a powerful, life-changing art form that we all cherish, and that is absolutely worth waiting for. Here’s to hoping that we don’t have to wait too long!

Our very best to you all, from all of us at Choral Canada – championing choral music for all Canadians.

– Choral Canada