Alberta Composers' Association/Association des Compositeurs de l'Alberta
Alberta Composers' Association/Association des Compositeurs de l'Alberta (ACA). Founded at Edmonton in September 1977 upon the advice of an ad hoc committee comprising the composers Violet Archer, Dean G. Blair, David Duke, Ronald Hannah, and Richard Johnston, with the assistance of John Weinzweig. The ACA was formed to further the interests and promote the activities of Alberta composers, with membership open to both senior and student Alberta composers, whether resident in or living outside the province. Interested non-composers could become associates, and in 1977 John Weinzweig was named an honorary member.
In accordance with its objectives, the ACA assisted in the establishment of a prairie regional branch of the Canadian Music Centre and founded an annual Alberta Composers' Festival. Three festivals took place. The first was a showcase for young and established Alberta composers and performers, held at Edmonton in April 1979; the second, honouring the opening of the CMCentre (Prairie Region) at the University of Calgary, took place in February 1980. Both of these were co-ordinated by Allan Bell. Dean Blair was co-ordinator of the third festival, held in 1981 at the University of Lethbridge. Other ACA activities included the initiation of a commissioning program for Alberta composers (administered by the Prairie regional director of the CMCentre); the co-sponsorship with the Alberta Choral Directors Association of a choral composition competition; and, in 1980, an Alberta Song Competition, co-sponsored by Alberta Culture, in honour of the province's 75th anniversary. The ACA also presented Janvier Awards (bronze medals designed by the Alberta artist Alex Janvier) for outstanding contributions to musical life in Alberta to Horst A. Schmid and Senator Donald Cameron in 1980, and to the Lethbridge Symphony and Dorothy and William Beckel in 1981.
In February 1978 the association began issuing the ACA Newsletter, a quarterly edited by Robert Rosen. The periodical was renamed Composers West beginning with the fall 1979 issue, and Brian Baillie was editor of the final six issues of the publication, which ceased in 1981.
The presidents of the ACA were Richard Johnston 1977-81, and Charles Foreman 1982, succeeded by William Jordan. The ACA gradually lost membership and definition as an organization. It ceased its activities in 1983.