British Columbia Choral Federation
British Columbia Choral Federation (BCCF). Founded in 1978 as a service organization for those interested in choral music in British Columbia. The membership is drawn from choirs, individual singers, conductors, audience members, music institutions, and corporations. The BCCF organizes singing workshops, courses on choir management, choral directorship, and festivals.
The federation sponsors a weekend festival entitled Chorfest, held concurrently with Youth Chorfest. At this annual event, diverse choirs come together to give a public concert under a prominent guest conductor; these have included James Fankhauser, Margaret Hillis, Elmer Iseler, Helen Kemp, Simon Preston, Bruce Pullan, Wayne Riddell, John Rutter, and Jon Washburn. The 1986 Chorfest became Chorfest Canada, a jointly sponsored conference with the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors. Regional workshops are offered during the season, and both choir and music referral services are available.
The federation supports the BCCF Youth Council, a subcommittee that runs youth-related choral programs such as the BC Youth Choir and choir workshops. The BCCF organized a 5000-voice choir for the opening ceremonies of Expo 86, and has sponsored a vocal quartet to represent the province in each biennial session of the National Youth Choir. It has held two alternating summer programs: Choral Challenge, designed for conductors; and Summersing, for singers ages 16 to 21. The federation has encouraged the revival of male-voice choirs and the formation of ladies' choirs such as Elektra, and has commissioned works by Imant Raminsh (Magnificat, 1983; I Will Sing Unto the Lord, 1988) and Patrick Wedd (Song of Creation, 1984).
In cooperation with the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors, the BCCF has been working on the John Adaskin Project, a long-term endeavour to catalogue all Canadian-composed choral music published since 1990. With this project, the hope is to promote Canadian music and composers, and to encourage music teachers to select Canadian content for their choral programming. Besides cataloguing, the BCCF is currently publishing guide lists that consist of one-page evaluations of individual pieces of choral music.
The BCCF publishes a newsletter, manages a music library and honours dedicated members with the annual BCCF Willan Award for Outstanding Service.