International Year of Canadian Music/L'Année internationale de la musique canadienne

International Year of Canadian Music(IYCM)/L'Année internationale de la musique canadienne(l'AIMC). Event held to celebrate and promote concert music by Canadian composers.

International Year of Canadian Music/L'Année internationale de la musique canadienne

International Year of Canadian Music(IYCM)/L'Année internationale de la musique canadienne(l'AIMC). Event held to celebrate and promote concert music by Canadian composers. The idea of having a 'music year' for a specific country originated with the international group of Music Information Centres (MIC) in the 1970s. At a 1984 MIC meeting John Miller, then executive director of the Canadian Music Centre, received official endorsement to hold the IYCM in 1986. The IYCM national committee, with representatives from 32 organizations, first met in Toronto 15 Nov 1984, and an IYCM office was set up in the fall of 1985, also in Toronto, headed by David Julien. Maureen Forrester was honorary chairwoman of the IYCM. Funding was supplied by three levels of government, corporate sponsors, and private foundations. The IYCM was officially launched 8 Jan 1986 by Marcel Masse, then federal Minister of Communications, on the occasion of a TS concert at which Steven Gellman's Universe Symphony was premiered.

Several Canadian music organizations were celebrating anniversaries in 1986, and coordinated their activities with the IYCM; these included the CBC (50th anniversary), the CLComp (35th), SMCQ and the Courtenay Youth Music Centre (20th), NMC (15th), and COMUS Music Theatre, the S.C. Eckhardt-Gramattée Competition, and the Music Gallery (10th). Canadian music was also featured prominently at Expo 86 before visitors from around the world. Of the many events which took place during the year in Canada, only a few can be singled out here: the American Society of University Composers met in Toronto; István Anhalt's opera Winthrop and Ann Lauber's oratorio Jesus Christus were premiered; concerts of Canadian music were given at the NAC on the occasion of the CLComp meeting in Ottawa; the Institute for Canadian Music hosted two conferences; the Manitoba Composers' Association held the Satori Festival633a, a series of concerts, workshops, and a composers' competition; Queen's University held 'A Celebration of Canadian Music'; Rhombus Media inaugurated a series of films profiling Canadian composers; and the 'Wired Society' conference was held at the Music Gallery, leading to the creation of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community. Composers' competitions were also sponsored by Brock University, CAPAC, the CBC, New Works of Art Calgary, and PRO Canada. A tape project was created to introduce school children to electroacoustic music, and taped excerpts of Canadian orchestal music were sent to conductors. IYCM activities abroad included the distribution of information packages to 35 Canadian embassys and consulates; broadcasts of Canadian music, notably on the BBC and Venezuelan radio; four concerts of Canadian music by the Washington (DC) Music Ensemble; and a Canadian Music Conference and Festival at San Diego State U (29-31 Jan 1987).

The archival records of the IYCM, together with a 3000-page reference catalogue, are held in Toronto at the CMCentre.


Further Reading

  • 'International Year of Canadian Music,' MSc, 347, Jan-Feb 1986

    Snider, Roxanne. 'Celebrating the nation's composers,' Maclean's, 19 May 1986

    Keillor, Elaine. '1986: The International Year of Canadian Music,' Queen's Q, vol 94, Spring 1987

    Julien, David. 1986 International Year of Canadian Music: Final Report (Toronto 1988)