Mission: We are a community choir that promotes and celebrates musical excellence and diversity, sharing our love of singing through education and community service. We believe in having fun and welcome all who love to sing and share our vision, mission and values.
The Upper Canada Choristers met for the first time in January 1994 in donated rehearsal space in the chapel of Upper Canada College, under the leadership of founding Artistic Director, Laurie Evan Fraser and founding President Jacqui Atkin. The choir’s mission of learning and enjoying music while performing community service was established in its first performance at Sunnybrook Hospital in June 1994. The choir incorporated in 1995 and was granted charitable status in 1997. Since our inception, the Choristers have presented two public concerts each year. Repertoire has been musically varied and challenging, reflective of the diversity of the community, with a special interest in Canadian works.
In keeping with our educational mission, the choir launched its first joint project with children’s choirs from the Institute for Child Study in 1996 and has since collaborated with music programs at many schools in the Toronto District Board of Education, as well as featuring youth ensembles such as the Toronto Horn Club and the Brass Choir of St. John’s York Mills at our concerts. Our professional guest artists have included instrumentalists, singers, actors, and dancers. A highlight for our choristers has been the opportunity for collaborations with international choirs from Italy, the U.S., and Japan.
Growth in community service sees the choir singing 16 – 20 concerts annually in many different venues including senior’s and early Alzeimer residences, chronic care facilities, children’s hospitals, centers for the disabled. The Choristers also perform at paid private sector performances, traveling out of town as required.
In 2008, Cantemos, an auditioned a cappella chamber ensemble specializing in repertoire from Latin America, was formed. This ensemble has enabled a greater outreach in the community. Performances have included a guest appearance with the Toronto Welsh Men’s Choir, Nuit Blanche performances at Arepa Cafe, outdoor singing at the Kensington Pedestrian Mall.