Unison Festival 2018
May 18 to 21, 2018 • Calgary
Calgary is pleased and honoured to host the 2018 Unison festival. This festival marks 20 years since Edmonton hosted the very first Canadian LGBTQ2 choir festival in 1998. Welcome back to Alberta for this exciting anniversary edition of Unison Festival Unisson!
First-Class Concert Hall
We have chosen Mount Royal University as the venue for the 2018 festival. The festival concerts will be held in the University’s flagship theatre, the Bella Concert Hall, at the heart of the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts. Designed for choral and orchestral performances, the Bella is stunning, intimate, and acoustically superb.
A Gay Village on Campus
When you arrive for the festival, you will be stepping into a pop-up gay village created just for you. Sing, sleep, eat and play, all right on campus!
Accommodations will be in the University’s student residences, so you will never be far from the action. Festival concerts, dining, and after-hours events will all be within easy walking distance.
The theme for the 2018 Unison festival is “Be Creative!” Our artistic directors, Jean-Louis Bleau and Jane Perry, are crafting a weekend of creative collaboration for your enjoyment. We are throwing the doors wide open to new creations, as we seek to build community within Calgary and across the country through collaboration.
The festival kicks off with an opening ceremony and concert on Friday night in the Bella Concert Hall. Host choirs Calgary Men’s Chorus, One Voice Chorus, and the BarberEllas will take the stage to welcome everyone to Calgary. To close the concert, they will be joined by singers from local youth choirs. This massed choir, some 200 voices strong, may just raise the roof!
On Saturday and Sunday, the festival swings into its customary rhythm. Each participating choir or ensemble will perform in one of the concert blocks in the Bella Concert Hall. As always, these concert blocks are the heart of the Unison festival.
Saturday evening, Calgary introduces the Musi-Circus: an indoor street festival of music and arts in three campus theatres, culminating in a late-night concert in the Bella Concert Hall. Stay tuned for more news about this thrilling new feature event!
We have saved a special treat for the closing concert on Monday morning. The 2018 Unison festival will feature just one festival chorus: an SATB choir that will perform with orchestra at the closing concert in the Bella Concert Hall. The closing concert will also include highlights from the festival: pieces presented by participating choirs that stood out. These choirs will be invited to reprise their pieces at the closing concert.
The festival weekend includes a number of social events to give delegates a chance to relax, reconnect with old friends, and make new friends. Sunday night features the festival banquet in the lovely Ross Glenn Hall, followed by a dance party in Wyckham House. Every night, you will find karaoke and other activities after hours in the campus pub. Monday morning, we dish up a pancake breakfast, to give you a taste of the Calgary Stampede.
Workshop offerings through the weekend will include a leadership conference on Friday and a workshop for singers that runs both Saturday and Sunday.