Canada’s Next Great Art Song Vies for $100k Aviva Community Fund


This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Editor’s Note: La Scena‘s project Canada’s Next Great Art Song is in competition for a $100,000 grant from the Aviva Community Fund.

Few things bring people together better than great music or a great song. At La Scena Musicale (LSM), Canada’s foremost classical music and jazz magazine, our mission is to highlight the richness and diversity of talent of Canada’s classical musicians, and share it with the widest possible audience, from professional musicians to simple music lovers, by educating and informing.

In the spirit of this mission, LSM will launch in 2019 Canada’s Next Great Art Song, a year-long quest with the public to discover the best art songs by up-and-coming Canadian classical music composers. It will culminate in two gala concerts in December 2019 (one in Montreal and one in Toronto), in which the audience (both in the concert hall and at home) will get to vote for their favourite art songs by new Canadian composers, as performed by some of the nation’s best singers and accompanists.

Canada’s Next Great Art Song will make several communities better together: it will jumpstart the careers of Canada’s promising new composers by giving them a Canada-wide platform; it will connect the younger generation of Canadian classical musicians with the older; and most importantly, it will allow Canadian music lovers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in an innovative, accessible and interactive nation-wide musical event. By its ambitious nature and scope, Canada’s Next Great Art Song will undoubtedly have a far-reaching and long-lasting impact.

A few numbers

  • $100,000 :  The amount of the Aviva Community Fund
  • 10 projects with most votes received between Sept. 25 and Oct. 4 will received at least $15,000 and have a chance to win one of three $100,000 prizes
  • 10 votes for each person : go vote on


Art Song Definition

– The art song is defined to be a classical song for voice and piano set to poetry in any language. The goal of this genre is to “paint” both with the vocal line and the accompaniment. The German Lied, French mélodie, and Spanish canción all represent different approaches to the art song genre.
– For this competition, songs should not be longer than 5 minutes.


– The contest will be open to composers of all ages who are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.
– The deadline for submissions (score and recording) will be March 31, 2019.


– A monetary prize ($10,000) will be given to the best song, with second and third prizes of $5,000 and $2,500.
– The songs will be performed by some of Canada’s leading musicians.
– Recording of the concert will be issued.
– The winning song(s) may also be published.
– The winning song(s) will be programmed in future recitals with partnering organizations.


– Videos of the compositions will be uploaded on LSM’s website and the public will be invited to vote for 7 of the finalists; a jury will choose the other 3 finalist songs.
– The finals will be judged by the public; the 10 finalist songs will be performed at the concerts, at which point the audience (in the concert hall and listening at home) will be the final jury.
– Two concerts: one in Toronto, and one in Montreal

Great Art Song Challenge

– Throughout 2019, LSM will publish a series of articles on the art song (the challenges of composing for the art song, choosing the text, the “Top 10 Arts Songs of All Time”, etc.)


– Canada’s best singers and accompanists will be invited to participate.
– There will be five singers: soprano, mezzo, countertenor, tenor and baritone/bass. Each singer will be assigned two songs to champion or defend.
– Interested musicians include Daniel Taylor, Étienne Dupuis, Michael McMahon and Louise-Andrée Baril.

Final Concerts

– The first half of the Finals will be the performance of the 10 finalist songs.
– During intermission, concertgoers will have a chance to vote for their top 3 songs. The logistics of the voting will be worked out (either electronically, or with paper ballots.)
– The second half of the Final concerts will be the performance of the “Top 10 Arts Songs of All Time” by the five singers.

Final Thoughts

We would be thrilled to have the Aviva Community Fund as a partner on this quest to find Canada’s Next Great Art Song. Thank you for your consideration!

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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