- Unison Edmonton 1998
Unison Edmonton 1998
The Unison Festival began in Edmonton in 1998, after the then artistic director of Edmonton Vocal Minority, David Garber, suggested a weekend choral festival to bring together Canadian LGBTQ choruses, who may not otherwise be able to attend the week-long GALA festivals that take place in the United States. Quickly gaining the support of the Edmonton LGBTQ community (the city’s Pride Day was even moved in order to coincide with the festival), the inaugural Canadian GALA Choruses Festival ’98 proved to be a resounding success, bringing together 15 choruses from all across Canada, eager to return for another festival.
- Unison Toronto 2002
Unison Toronto 2002
As with the Olympics and GALA Chorus festivals, the decision was made to hold the Unison Festival every four years, with the 2002 festival being held in Toronto. The four-day festival was hosted by four local choruses: Forte The Toronto Men’s Chorus, IRIS The Toronto Women’s Chorus, Rainbow Voices of Toronto and Singing Out! Lesbian and Gay Chorus of Toronto. With 18 choruses attending, the 2002 Toronto festival helped to establish Unison as a new tradition for Canadian GALA choruses.
- Unison Vancouver 2006
Unison Vancouver 2006
2006 saw the Unison Festival find a home in Vancouver, with artistic direction provided by local composer Willi Zwozdesky. With the slogan ‘One Sound’, the 2006 Vancouver festival saw the largest number of hosting choirs to date, welcoming over 500 delegates from over 15 choirs to the Chan Centre. In describing the event, Willi highlighted how Unison is, “a rare opportunity to see what the choral movement is accomplishing across Canada. What musicians sing on the East Coast is often very different from what you may experience locally.”
- Unison Winnipeg 2010
Unison Winnipeg 2010
Hot on the heels of Vancouver, Unison found its next home in Winnipeg for 2010, with an attendance of 514 delegates. Hosted by Winnipeg’s own Rainbow Harmony Project, with all performances and concert blocks held at the acoustically wonderful Knox United Church, 15 choirs enjoyed the hospitality of Winnipeg’s LGBTQ community over four days full of beautiful song, engaging workshops and memorable social events. It was also during the 2010 festival that the decision was made to create a formal national Unison organization, in order to develop and maintain formal guidelines regarding the hosting of futures Unison events.
In Winnipeg, an announcement was made that the location of the next Unison festival in 2014, would be our nation’s capital, Ottawa.
- Unison Ottawa 2014
Unison Ottawa 2014
Stories of the 2014 festival to come…
Share Your Memories
Unison is looking for past Unison Festival participants to share their memories of past festivals! Please, submit any memories or photos of past events here:
Space permitting, we will post them on the Unison Festival website. Please indicate in your email that you give permission for Unison to post your picture(s) on the its website.