Canada Music Week/Semaine de la musique canadienne
Canada Music Week/Semaine de la musique canadienne. An annual nation-wide festival sponsored by the CFMTA to introduce Canadian music to students, teachers and audiences; to encourage and promote Canadian music, musicians, and music teaching; and to emphasize the significance of music in society. Introduced in 1960, Canada Music Week in 1990 continued to be held in the last full week of November to coincide with St. Cecilia's Day. The committee has nine provincial and other branch chairpersons, and a national chairperson (Leonard Wilson 1961-2, Sister Rodriguez Steele and Eleanor Harkness 1963-9, and Helen Dahlstrom 1970- ). The national organization provides promotional material, publishes a brochure with suggestions for activities and publicity, and has administered the national music writing competition since its inception. Programs are the responsibility of individual centres and have included professional and student concerts; displays in schools, music stores, and libraries (including regular exhibits at the National Library of Canada beginning in 1974); screenings of films; lecture-recitals; and local essay, poster and composition competitions. Churches are encouraged to use Canadian hymns, anthems and organ music and school teachers are asked to highlight Canadian music in their classes. The CBC and private radio stations have broadcast student recitals, given capsule biographies of Canadian composers, panel discussions and interviews, and featured recordings of Canadian music during the week. One of the largest celebrations to date was in Toronto in 1970 when the first Contemporary Showcase was held during Canada Music Week and became its focal point.
The national organization's primary activity is the Music Writing Competition which was instituted in 1971. Three classes are offered at different age levels. Prizes have increased in value from $75 for the senior class in 1971 to $300 in 1988. In 1985 the CFMTA and Waterloo Music Co published The Canada Music Week Silver Anniversary Collection, a book of piano solos by Canadian composers, some of whom had judged (Ruth Watson Henderson) or won (Douglas Finch) the Canada Music Week Music Writing Competition. This collection was compiled and edited by Helen Dahlstrom and was the result of a juried competition.
Canada Music Week Magazine, edited by Helen Dahlstrom, has been published annually beginning in 1971. Canada Music Week has received financial and other assistance from many sources, both private and public, and has been strongly supported by SOCAN.