Conservatory Canada. Examining body primarily in piano and voice, established in 1997 by a merger of the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music (WOCM), and the Western Board of Music. Established as a teaching and examining body, Conservatory Canada disbanded its teaching facilities in 2002 and focused solely on its national examination system.
Creation of Conservatory Canada
In 1997, two national examining bodies, the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music in London, Ontario, and the Western Board of Music in Edmonton, Alberta, merged their examination system into one, forming Conservatory Canada, based in London, Ontario. Some of the key people involved in the merger were Dr D.F. Cook, formerly principal of the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music; Jack Speake, formerly chair of the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music; Arne Sahlen, formerly principal of the Western Board of Music; and Carol Mellors, formerly director of the Western Board of Music. Dr Cook became Conservatory Canada's first principal and held the position until his resignation in 1999. He was succeeded by Neil Whyte on an interim basis. In 2002 Whyte stepped down and registrar Victoria Warwick was appointed academic director/registrar, replacing the position of principal. Due to financial difficulties, Conservatory Canada sold its teaching facility in 2002 and focused on building its national examination system and the publications that accompany these examinations.
Conservatory Canada is a not-for-profit, federally incorporated examining institution for most instruments, but primarily for piano and voice. Its aim is to foster the development of musical talent and potential. It offers examinations that are not rushed, and that include Canadian content and viva voce requirements from an early grade; it provides a "mini-lesson" with the examiner after the examination.
Conservatory Canada conducts approximately 4,500 examinations annually for most instruments, theory, music history and pedagogy. It offers an Associate Diploma (Associate of Conservatory Canada in Music, ACCM) and a Licentiate Diploma (LCCM). The program is fully accredited and recognized by most provincial ministries of education for secondary school credit. In 2003, an award was created to honour the "special talents, values and work ethic" of Conservatory member Carmen Sprovieri (London Free Press 2003). The annual Sprovieri book award recognizes young music students in their pursuit of excellence.
Conservatory Canada published The New Millennium Series for piano (Waterloo Music) in 1999. The series features graded piano books, plus a teacher's syllabus. Lisa Barkey and Clark Bryan were series co-editors, with an editorial committee that included Frances Balodis, Debra Wanless, Caron Whitlaw-Hiebert and Victoria Warwick. In order to prepare students for its theory examination requirements, Conservatory Canada published its Student Help Books 1-4 in 1999 and Theory for Students Books 1-4 in 2003-4 (Waterloo Music).