The Vancouver Chamber Choir is devoted to excellence in performance, and to mentoring and encouraging new talent. The choir is a leader in its educational initiatives and community outreach programs. These activities provide a critical link with today’s youth, foster a better appreciation of choral music, and contribute to the growth of choral music in Canada.

One of the hallmarks of this non-profit society is the scale and scope of outreach and educational programs offered throughout each season. The choir also trains singers, conductors, and composers across Canada in its ongoing effort to contribute back to society, to preserve the choral traditions of the past, and to encourage growth and innovation in the works of the future.

In June 2000, the choir was honoured with two awards at the 2000 Chorus America Conference, including the Education and Outreach Award, given in recognition of the choir’s outstanding programming in this area.

Conductors’ Symposium

The Conductors’ Symposium provides advanced training in choral conducting to university, school, church and community choir directors from around the world. Kari Turunen and Christina Hutten will be the co-instructors for this workshop focused on Baroque repertoire in February 2023.

In accordance with all public health guidelines of the Province of British Columbia and any applicable travel restrictions, five or six conductors will be given significant time to conduct the Vancouver Chamber Choir in rehearsal and performance.

In the conducting and evaluation sessions, emphasis is given to choral techniques, conducting gestures, and score interpretation under the direction of Dr. Turunen and Ms. Hutten.

The 43rd Annual Conductors’ Symposium will take place February 5-10, 2023 in Vancouver.

Application deadline is December 12, 2022.

Vancouver Chamber Choir Interplay Winnipeg 2016

Interplay is an interactive workshop for Canadian composers who write for chorus: it provides them with the opportunity to workshop their in-progress (or recently completed) choral works and ideas with Kari Turunen and the Vancouver Chamber Choir.

In these workshops, composers are allotted individual rehearsal time with the professional chorus and conductor. This time may be used to test completed work and/or try out new concepts. The conductor, singers, and composer may dialogue about musical and technical features, strengths, flaws, textures, colours, notations, and many other aspects of successful choral writing. Each workshop is closely tailored to the needs and interests of the individual composer.

There is no charge to composers for the workshops, thanks to the generous support of the SOCAN Foundation and other supporters of our educational programs.

Two workshops are planned for the 2022/23 season:

  • Wednesday, October 19, 2022 (HYBRID: online and in person)
    1pm-43m (PDT), The Annex, Vancouver
    Application deadline: October 1, 2022
  • Wednesday, May 17, 2023
    11:30am-1:30pm, Hodson Manor, Vancouver
    Application deadline: TBD
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Focus — Professional Development for Young Singers

Focus is a brief but intensive introduction to the world of professional choral singing for university and college students. A quartet of singers from each music department in Metro Vancouver is nominated by the school’s choral conductor. The selected singers work with the professional singers of the Vancouver Chamber Choir under the direction of Kari Turunen.

As space is limited, participants in the Focus! program must be recommended by their college or university music/choral teacher.

Artistic Director Kari Turunen will reach out directly to postsecondary choral music educators with more information.


OnSite is designed for small groups of elementary and secondary school students and their teachers or supervisors. The program, provided free of charge, offers a unique learning environment for students and teachers through attendance at a rehearsal, interaction with the conductor and singers, and attendance at the relevant concert.

OnSite is not only an experience to treasure, but also a way of establishing and building a long-term relationship between a school and the Vancouver Chamber Choir.

For the 2022/23 season we are thrilled to return to in-person delivery of this program, now expanded to include a limited number of run-out workshops.

For more information, click on the button below:

Young Composers’ Competition

Founder & Conductor Emeritus Jon Washburn created this biennial event to encourage the development of young composers and to stimulate the interest of young people in singing choral music and attending choral concerts. The competition provides young composers with the artistic direction and supervision that will enable them to pursue the art.

The compositions are judged in three categories: Elementary (ages 8-12), Secondary (ages 13-17), and College/University (ages 18-22) with a cash prize awarded to the winning entry in each category.

The submission deadline for the 16th biennial competition will be announced soon.

Winning pieces will be performed in the 2023/24 season.

The Vancouver Chamber Choir acknowledges that it operates and performs on the unceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. We are grateful for this privilege.