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 from Master Conductor Kari Turunen to university, school, church and community choir directors from around the world. Five participants will be given significant time over a full week to conduct the choir in rehearsal, with emphasis given to score interpretation as well as choral techniques and gestures. This year’s focus will be music reflecting war and peace from 20th and 21st century North America and Europe. The week culminates with our War & Peace concert on February 16, 2024.

The 44th Annual Conductors’ Symposium will take place February 11-16, 2024 in Vancouver.


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.

The next Interplay workshop is scheduled for:

  • Tuesday, May 7, 2024 (In-Person)
    11:30am-1:30pm, Hodson Manor, Vancouver

The first Interplay workshop of 23/24 was held on Thursday, November 16, 2023 and we had 5 stellar composers take part.

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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.

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.

Submissions are now open for the 16th Biennial Young Composers’ Competition.

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, November 1st, 2023.

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.