About Choirs Ontario

Our Mission Statement:

Choirs Ontario fosters a vibrant and inclusive choral community by providing resources, creating opportunities and engaging Ontario’s diverse population in the transformative power of choral music.

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History:

Choirs Ontario, formerly known as the Ontario Choral Federation, was established in 1971 to promote, support and celebrate choral music across the province.  We provide growth and development opportunities for choral musicians and administrators through a wide variety of programmes and services that raise the profile and quality of choral music, support the choral community and educate the next generation of choral leaders. We believe that choral music is vital to our lives, builds strong communities and enriches our society.  Choirs Ontario has been honoured with the patronage of the Right-Honourable Roland Michener, internationally renowned soprano Lois Marshall and composer and philanthropist Dr. Donald Wright. Our current Honorary Patron is the Honourable Peter Milliken, M.P., former speaker of the House of Commons and a passionate choral enthusiast.

Choirs Ontario provides leadership and service to Ontario’s choral community by providing resources, learning opportunities, advocacy and communications. We support enhanced success for students and learners of all ages and abilities by creating community based opportunities and training programmes that develop the skills and knowledge of choristers, conductors and administrators including: online resources through our informative website, extensive music library, quarterly newsletter, VOCAL workshop for adult choristers, and Choral Management Workshops. Our key programme, the Ontario Youth Choir (OYC), founded in 1971, has served as a unique opportunity for young singers to develop their choral skills and work with some of Canada’s finest choral conductors.

We promote the growth and celebrate the achievements of choral music through several awards programmes that recognize the accomplishments of exceptional individuals who have contributed to Ontario’s choral music through conducting, composition, and community leadership. These include the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting, The Ruth Watson Henderson Choral Composition Competition and the Presidents’ Leadership Award.

Choirs Ontario is an active participant in the Association of Canadian Choral Communities. We work together with our sister Provincial Choral Organizations to forge a stronger national choral presence and are represented by the Executive Director at national meetings. Choirs Ontario hosted Podium, the biennial national conference for choral practitioners in Toronto, May 2002, and presented Podium 2012 - Choral Célébration Chorale in Ottawa, Ontario. Choirs Ontario is proud to send and support four young singers to the National Youth Choir, a biennial project of the ACCC.

Organizational Structure:

Choirs Ontario is governed by a 10-15 member volunteer Board of Directors whose members come from across Ontario.  The Board of Directors is supported by a 7-member Advisory Council of leaders in the choral field. 

Constituency:

There are approximately 1.9 million active choristers living in Ontario, accounting for just under 15% of the population in the province or almost 1 in 7 Ontarians. This estimate includes half a million youth under the age of 18. Our members include professional and amateur choirs, singers and audiences, businesses and institutions. There are an estimated 11,300 choirs in Ontario. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of these are religious choirs, 31% are school choirs and 11% are community or professional choirs. Community choirs in Ontario generated an estimated $31.6 million in revenue in 2010.

Choirs Ontario Charitable Registration Number: 11906 7536 RR 0001