2022 PODIUM Choral Conference & Festival

PODIUM 2022 is the national biennial bilingual choral conference and festival co-presented by Choral Canada and Choirs Ontario. This multi-day celebration brings together participants from across the country and beyond who are passionate about group singing. PODIUM 2022 is an opportunity to gather with friends new and old in Toronto, one of the world's most multicultural and exciting cities.

PODIUM 2022 will explore the theme of "Reimagine, Rebuild, Reconnect". With the challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic and the strengthening of collective calls for equity and justice, they have the powerful opportunity to reimagine the possibilities of the choral community. By sharing performances and ideas, and creating space for curiosity, listening, reflection, and dialogue, PODIUM 2022 aims to inspire all who thrill at the sound of voices joined together in song.

Be in the audience for the live concert experience or buy a virtual concert ticket and enjoy at home >


Thursday May 19, 2022 | 8:00 - 9:30 pm
Conductor: Dr. Jean-Sébastien Vallée
Apprentice Conductor: Thomas Burton
Collaborative Pianist: Dr. Irene Gregorio

The National Youth Choir of Canada (NYCC) is a project of Choral Canada and is one of Canada's finest youth choirs. It is a one-of-a-kind professional development opportunity for some of Canada's best emerging choral singers. Truly national in scope, the prestigious choir is made up of singers between the ages of 19 and 26 who are auditioned from across the country every two years.

Make Me A World is a concert addressing important social issues through a diverse array of musical selections. The human voice is the simplest and yet one of the most complex musical instruments. A choir is a micro representation of an ideal society, that is, many individuals with different and unique voices working together diligently to create harmony and unison of intent. Being both vulnerable and powerful, the human voice, especially in choral music, speaks directly to the soul and this is why choral singing is so important. This program is both a reflection on our society and a tribute to our world - a world where music allows us to find common ground and look towards a better and more inclusive future.

Make Me a World will include 2 world premiere commissions - I Forgive by Shireen Abu-Khader and Music is Vibration by Andrew Balfour - as well as the winning piece from Choral Canada's 2022 Competition for Choral Writing.

Friday May 20, 2022 | 8:00 - 9:30 pm
Conductor: Karen Burke
Accompanied by: Toronto Mass Choir Band


Toronto Mass Choir continues to be on the cutting edge of Canadian gospel music, bringing its distinctive sound to the world stage. Their music incorporates contemporary gospel, traditional gospel, and Caribbean music influences. Karen Burke, a Professor of Music at York University, is the director of the diversified group of singers and musicians, and her husband, Oswald Burke, is their Executive Producer. Now 45-strong plus a five-piece band, the not-for-profit choir consists of adult members from all across the GTA. TMC's travels abroad have taken them to several countries, including England, Poland, Romania, Italy, Barbados, Dominion Republic, and the United States. The choir has performed at countless churches, festivals, award shows, and venues such as The Ottawa Bluesfest, the Toronto Jazz Festival, the Canadian National Exhibition, Roy Thompson Hall with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra.

Saturday May 21, 2022 | Time: 5:00 - 6:30 pm
Artistic Director: Jason Max Ferdinand
Pianist & Orchestrator: John Stoddart


The Jason Max Ferdinand Singers is a project that I have thought about since 2001. I had the sound of the ensemble in my head, and had plans to make a debut the summer of 2020, but COVID-19 forced a hiatus. In January of 2021, a creative opportunity was asked of me, and after some hesitation and contemplation, I decided to take a dive into the deep, feeling I would be a dupe not to heed the signs!

The Jason Max Ferdinand Singers has been birthed and the ensemble will now begin its unifying journey. It is with gratitude and humility that I bring to you these talented singers who breathe life into the works of outstanding composers, as we all move forward in our lives and times. - Jason Max Ferdinand, Founder and Artistic Director

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