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Our History

Ardeleana was incorporated as a registered Canadian Charity in 1987. We have a long history of innovation and excellence through the commissioning, performing and recording of chamber music by Canadian composers, and Canadian women in particular, and have commissioned and premiered over 100 works of Canadian music. We released the first recording to feature music only by Canadian Women in 1993, and ran a concert series in Toronto and in Sharon that premiered work by Canadian composers through inter-arts performances for 17 years. We released 6 subsequent land-mark CD’s, all of which feature music by Canadian women composers.

From 2007 to 2014, with the financial aid of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Heritage Canada, and SOCAN funding, we organised and produced the Blue Bridge Festival, an inter-generational festival of poetry and music throughout York Region, and organised a camp for youth that focused on poetry and music in conjunction with the festival. We established The Blue Bridge Festival Community Orchestra and the Blue Bridge Festival Choir in 2007 and the Mary Gardiner Memorial Premier in 2011 as part of the Festival. The orchestra and choir were intergenerational, and the award provided free performance recordings and workshops to a young composer who wrote a work for high-school age string orchestra or chamber ensemble.

Currently we are located in Parry Sound where we are building a healthy amateur music scene through the Whispering River Community Orchestra, a String Pals project that pairs teens with amateur adults to learn to play orchestra string instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass) and monthly creativity circles (Second Sunday Salons) that provide a meeting place and think tank for local poets, artists, musicians and thinkers. In addition to Orchestra concerts, we produce a concert series in Parry Sound (Soulfire Series) to showcase young and unsigned Canadian musicians, or musicians featuring Canadian Music, and performances of chamber and seasonal music in hospitals and local businesses in the community.

We are fund-raising to establish an instrument bank in our community, to support the growth of the community orchestra with clinics and professional musical leadership, to develop new work by Canadian composers in the field of choral and string music for the orchestra, and to establish community and local participation in concert music performance through a 10 day community festival that focuses on creative process, and provides performance opportunities for local musicians and performers.