Edmonton Vocal Minority was only three years old when its founding Artistic Director, David Garber, suggested the idea of inviting Queer choruses from across Canada to Edmonton for a weekend festival. Although the GALA Choruses festivals in the US were firmly established and welcomed international participation, EVM felt that a lot of Canadian choruses did not attend these festivals due to the cost and the week-long time commitment. A shorter homegrown festival seemed like the perfect alternative.
Festival 98 was born and word quickly spread. With the help of Edmonton’s entire Queer community, planning got underway. The city’s Pride Committee even moved Pride Day to coincide with the Festival!
The main concert venue was the recently opened Francis Winspear Centre, and the free public closing concert was held in Edmonton’s city hall with guest speakers Svend Robinson, MP, and Edmonton City Councillor, Michael Phair.
Festival ’98 commissioned two new works by Canadian singer-songwriter’s Heather Bishop and David Sereda as a lasting legacy of the festival. In addition to Bishop and Sereda, Seattle’s fabulous opera divas, The Derivative Duo, were featured guest performers.
Although EVM was a young organisation that was still working to establish itself, it dared to dream a big dream. As other choruses from across the country take turns hosting and staging these festivals, the dream has taken on a life of its own. Each festival improves upon the last, and Queer Canadian choristers now have an event that is uniquely their own. Edmonton Vocal Minority is proud to have played its small role in celebrating and nurturing Queer culture in Canada.
EVM General Manager and Assistant Artistic Director
Historique du Festival
Le festival choral canadien des chœurs GLBT* a lieu tous les quatre ans.
in order of appearance
Vancouver Women’s Chorus
Ottawa Gay Men’s Chorus/Le choeur gai d’Ottawa
Regina’s Prairie Pride Chorus
Calgary Men’s Chorus
Rainy City Gay Men’s Chorus
Vancouver Lesbian And Gay Choir
The Women Next Door
Rocky Mountain Singers
Forte, The Toronto Men’s Chorus
Sapphic Song Weavers
The Bridge City Chorus
Vancouver Men’s Chorus
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