THE SCOOP | 11 classical music festivals collaborate on a free online event

Canadian Classical Music Festivals (CMFC) has announced July in January, an online classical music festival that will run from January 28 to February 28, 2022.

The CFPC was founded in 2021, and July in January is their first initiative. During the uncertain times of the COVID pandemic, organizers from 11 of Ontario’s classical music festivals came together to deliver an off-season event that would connect musical communities throughout the winter.

james campbell (Artistic Director, Festival du Son) and Score less (Artistic Director, Stratford Summer Music Festival) spearheaded the initiative.

“Our thinking was to find a way to offer music as a thank you to our supporters by bringing their favorite summer festivals home during the colder and more isolated months of the year,” said Campbell in a press release. “July in January takes music lovers on a summer trip across Ontario without leaving the comfort of their own home. The enthusiastic response we received from our colleagues about this project proves once again how much the power of great music unites us in these difficult times.

The pandemic has prompted many businesses and arts organizations to upgrade their audio-video equipment so they can produce live streams and high-quality video material. The video also allows viewers to see close-ups and other angles they wouldn’t see in a typical live setting.

Less adds, “Nothing will replace the live concert experience, but streaming offers a great way for the music community to stay connected, as well as providing others with the ability to see what our individual festivals are all about. These are 11 unique festivals, highlighting the breadth of what Ontario has to offer in the summer. I am very excited about the Classical Music Festivals of Canada and our inaugural project from July to January. It’s a way for us to reach our audience during the off-season, which also allows us to reach classical music fans in new communities, both in Ontario and beyond.

In addition to the music, the festival will include interviews and conversations between the festival’s artistic directors and veteran broadcaster Eric Friesen, who will host. Participating festivals include:

  • Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound, artistic director: James Campbell)
  • Collingwood Summer Music Festival (Collingwood, artistic director: Daniel Vnukowski)
  • Elora Festival (Elora, Artistic Director: Mark Vuorinen)
  • Music Niagara Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake, Artistic Director: Atis Bankas)
  • Ottawa Chamberfest (Ottawa, Artistic Director: Carissa Klopoushak)
  • Prince Edward County Chamber Music Festival (Picton, artistic directors: The New Orford String Quartet)
  • Stratford Summer Music (Stratford, artistic director: Mark Fewer)
  • Studio ‘S’ Series (Thousand Islands Playhouse, Ganonoque, Artistic Director: Eric Friesen)
  • Sweetwater Music Festival (Owen Sound, artistic director: Edwin Huizinga)
  • Toronto Summer Music (Toronto, artistic director: Jonathan Crow)
  • Westben (Campbellford, art director: Brian Finley)

It’s been a tough two years…

…”One of the reasons if the arts thrive in difficult times, it’s because we cooperate with each other,” says Campbell. “It’s just part of the culture of what we do. July in January presents an opportunity to collaborate on something bigger. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this event goes and how Canada’s Classical Music Festivals develop in the years to come.

Inauguration of the CFPC July in January is a free event open to all, anywhere, with donations encouraged and available through the website.

Visit www.classicalmusicfestivals.ca to January 28 for all concerts and information. The concerts can be viewed until February 28, 2022.

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Latest posts by Anya Wassenberg (see everything)
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