National Choral Awards

Nomination dates have not yet been announced for the 2024 National Choral Awards. More information will be posted here when available. Subscribe to Choral Canada's newsletter and follow us on social media for updates!

 We are reimagining and expanding the National Choral Awards program and we are eager for your input! What categories would you like to see? What would you like the criteria to be for selecting the nominees and winners in those categories? What do you wish was being celebrated about individuals and groups in our arts sector and community? Important: it does not have to be only artistic!



2020 National Choral Awards Winners

Distinguished Service Awards

Ki Adams, honorary research professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, founding co-director of the Singing Network
Victoria Meredith, choral conductor, professor emerita at Western University

Outstanding Choral Composition

Winner: This Thirsty Land, Leonard Enns
Honorable Mention: Following the Moonroad, Christine Donkin

Outstanding Choral Publication

Winner: Pierre Robert, Motets pour la Chapelle du roy, Vol. 1, Andrée Dagenais

Outstanding Choral Recording

Winner: Handel: Dixit dominus, Bach and Schütz: Motets, Ottawa Bach Choir, Ensemble Caprice, Lisette Canton


Outstanding Innovation

Winner: Pro Coro Canada and Michael Zaugg for their program, Choral Art: Composers, Conductors and Choirs, at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Honourable mention: Orpheus Choir of Toronto for its project Raising her Voice: Celebrating Women in the Choral Art

Outstanding Student Essay

Winner: To Blend or not to Blend: a Solo Singer's Guide to Singing in Choral Ensembles, Leslie Higgins (Western University)
Honourable mention: Technologized Ensemble Singing and Embodiment in the 21st Century, Eva Stone-Barney (McGill University)

Outstanding Thesis or Dissertation

Choral Arrangements of Nueva Canción Chilena: Exploring Socially Committed Song in the Choral Context, Allison Pauls (University of Alberta)

Click here to see the original announcement by CBC.


The National Choral Awards program was established in 1988 to honour outstanding contributions to Canadian choral music. The awards are presented publicly every two years during our national conference, Podium, to honour and celebrate excellence in achievements during the previous two seasons. Each winner receives a certificate. The full list of award winners is posted on the website. 

Anyone can participate in our National Choral Awards program by nominating those who have excelled in areas of artistry, innovation, academia, or service. To be eligible, nominees need to ensure their membership with Choral Canada is current. Below is a full list of National Choral Awards. 

Winners are selected by a panel of choral experts appointed by Choral Canada; there is a new roster of people serving on the award jury panel for each competition. 

  • Fill out the nomination form*
  • Nominations for Choral Publication, Composition, Recording, Thesis/Dissertation and Essay must include an electronic or hard copy of the item being nominated. 
  • For all categories except for Distinguished Service, all nominated materials and events must have been composed, written, produced or performed no earlier than the deadline of the previous round of Choral Award nominations (March 1, 2020).
  • To be eligible for a National Choral Award, the nominee must be a member of Choral Canada.​

*For nominations in for the Distinguished Service Award category, you will need to provide a biography (max. 1000 words) that includes the nominee’s career highlights, awards and honors, and contributions to the Canadian choral community.
For all other categories, you will need to describe why you are nominating this person/organization for this award (max. 500 words).

Outstanding Choral Publication

The Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Choral Publication recognizes a book or collection or printed resource that provides a significant contribution to the choral community. Awards are based not only on the scope and depth of the publication but also on the writing style and quality of its presentation. 

Outstanding Choral Composition

The Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Choral Composition recognizes an original composition that provides a valuable new addition to the Canadian choral composition canon. Awards are based not only on the overall quality of writing, but also on the text setting, and suitability and accessibility for the indicated ensemble type. Attention will also be given to the quality of presentation. 

Outstanding Choral Recording

The Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Choral Recording recognizes a CD that provides a valuable new addition to the body of recordings by Canadian choral ensembles. Awards are based not only on the quality of performance, but also on the quality of the recording, the repertoire selection, and the quality of presentation. 

Outstanding Innovation (formerly Outstanding or Innovative Sponsorship)

The Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Innovation recognizes a business or group or individual that provides innovative support of or an outstanding contribution to the choral art in the areas of advocacy, sponsorship or a choral event. Awards are based not only on the nature of innovative support for promoting and nurturing the choral community but also on the significance, scope and vision of the project or event itself. 

Outstanding Thesis or Dissertation

The Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Thesis or Dissertation recognizes a graduate terminal research project in choral music that forms the principal research component of the degree requirements. Awards are based not only on the content of the thesis or dissertation but also on the writing style and the significance of the contribution to the choral community. 

Outstanding Student Essay

The Choral Canada Outstanding Student Essay Award recognizes an undergraduate *or graduate student essay devoted to some aspect of choral music. Students are normally nominated by their professor. Awards are based on both the content of the paper and the writing style. Consideration will also be given to the topic itself and its significance to the Canadian choral community.

​Please note that terminal reserach projects such as a thesis or a dissertation are to be submitted in the "Outstand Thesis or Dissertation" category. 
*NEW in 2020: category now open to graduate students. 

Distinguished Service Award

The Choral Canada Distinguished Service Award is given in recognition of long-term service to choral music in Canada. Awards are based on the significance and extent of transformative service in building, nurturing or promoting the Canadian choral community through a primary career in Canada. The individual’s contributions may have been made through teaching, conducting, or leadership. 

Banner photo : PODIUM 2016. Photo by Friday Design Photography