Durham Philharmonic Choir

About Choirs Ontario

Choirs Ontario’s mission is to foster vibrant, inclusive and accessible choral communities by providing programs, services and resources; creating opportunities; and engaging Ontario’s diverse population in the transformative power of choral music.

Choirs Ontario offers a range of programs and resources, as well as networking and professional development opportunities, which help members build capacity, develop leadership and grow and diversify their audiences. Our goal is to raise profile and quality of choral music, support the choral community, and educate the next generation of choral artists and audiences. The organization celebrates the achievements of choral music and promotes public awareness of the art form through several awards and competitions, including the President Leadership Award and the Ruth Watson Henderson Choral Composition Competition. These awards are designed to recognize the accomplishments of individuals who have contributed to Ontario’s choral music through conducting, composition, and community leadership.

Choirs Ontario is an important contributor to the health and vitality of the choral community. As an arts service organization, we work towards increased public involvement in the choral arts, more sustainable and diverse arts organizations and better supported artists. Rather than duplicating the artistic goals of our constituents, we strive to identify gaps and offer programmes that promote creative efforts of our members and forge learning and networking opportunities. Our services include research and advocacy, professional development resources and career opportunities, access to shared resources such as insurance and choral library, access to grants, and participation in forums, seminars and workshops.

Our Constituency (Ontario choral community profile)

There are approximately 1.9 million active choristers living in Ontario, accounting for just under 15% of the population in the province or almost 1 in 7 Ontarians. This estimate includes half a million youth under the age of 18. Our members include professional and amateur choirs, singers and audiences, businesses and institutions. There are an estimated 11,300 choirs in Ontario. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of these are religious choirs, 31% are school choirs and 11% are community or professional choirs.


Windsor Classic Chorale

Choirs Ontario (formerly Ontario Choral Federation) was established in 1971 to promote, support and celebrate choral music across the province. The same year, Ontario Youth Choir (OYC), a summer intensive choral training program for youth, was launched. Since its inception, Choirs Ontario has fostered community-based opportunities and training programmes that develop the skill and knowledge of choristers, conductors and administrators.

Choirs Ontario has played a significant role on the national choral scene, hosting a number of Podiums (National Choral Conferences). Choirs Ontario was the first provincial choral organization to collect and publish research on the extent and impact of choral activities in its region in 2011. 

In 2013, Choirs Ontario has undergone restructuring of the Board to provide regional representation from across the province. In 2014, SingONtario, an annual choral festival for community choirs, and Choirs Ontario on the Road, workshop series in regions across the province, were launched.

SingOntario serves vocal groups of all ages and genres, focusing on choral growth and development through performance, non-competitive adjudications and workshops with accomplished clinicians.

Choirs Ontario on the Road is designed to develop and deliver professional development workshops across the province and is a great resource for small organizations and groups unable to travel to Toronto.

To this day, Ontario Youth Choir continues to be our most successful and longest-running program. There are over 1,800 OYC alumni who continue to enrich their communities as choristers, conductors, accompanists, composers and educators.


(Board and Staff bios + logos or supporting organizations coming soon)