2023 End-of-Year Message

2023 End-of-Year Message

 

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"I want to share my deep gratitude for everyone who has supported Choral Canada in 2023. Our generous donors, our members, sponsors, advertisers, funders, all the incredible volunteers who make up our Board of Directors and numerous committees. You are the reason we exist. Every person matters, every organization matters. Thank you."

 

Dear members and supporters of Choral Canada,

The last couple months of the year are a busy time for choirs and singing groups with concerts and events, but also for important fundraising efforts. We hope everyone is receiving the crucial financial support that you need! We here at Choral Canada amplified your messages during Giving Tuesday, but we do need to be open and honest that we need your help, too!

 

What’s happening these days at Choral Canada?

If you didn’t hear, we downsized our office to a new space in Toronto, where we have a secure place for archives/storage, mail, and desk area. We were grateful to find an office with a low cost of rent allowing us the opportunity to allocate more of your membership and donation dollars to programming and operations.

 

Choral Canada’s staff and board are currently focused on:

  • Organizing and fundraising for the hybrid PODIUM 2024 Podium Conference & Festival in Montreal
  • Organizing and fundraising for the 2024 National Youth Choir of Canada program and Apprentice Conductor program
  • Running the 2024 Competition for Choral Writing
  • Sending you information/resources every two weeks (or more) via our e-newsletter
  • Keeping you updated through our multiple social media channels and website
  • Sharing important news, such as your job postings and calendar events, national/international events (e.g. World Choral Day and World Youth Choir)
  • Organizing our Student Chapter Executive Committee and programs
  • Working on the next edition of Anacrusis (Winter 2024)
  • Updating our #BenefitsOfSinging research and preparing our next advocacy letter writing campaign
  • Implementing our new By-laws and incorporating our Strategic Plan in all we do
  • Launching a new membership structure
  • Updating policies, including membership and finance
  • And more!

 

Things we do that you may not see:

  • Working on new projects that we hope to bring to life, such as monthly online Community Conversations, informative webinar series, the next major research project: National Choral Census, a training program for the choral arts sector in pluralism and organizational change through inclusive equity education in the arts, and more!

  • Analyzing current programs through the lens of our Strategic Plan and ADEI policy, such as the National Choral Awards

  • Attending numerous meetings per month with arts service organizations, funders, and advocacy groups from across the country and beyond, acting as the national voice for the choral arts sector;

  • Writing letters of support for Order of Canada submissions, grant applications, award recognition, etc.;

  • Answering as many emails and phone calls as we canregarding questions about the choral arts sector in Canada, helping to solve challenges faced by our members and providing support when and where we can.

  • Seeking out relevant and helpful information to support you in your role in the choral arts sector

  • And so much more!

 

How is Choral Canada funded? 

Like many of the choirs and singing groups in which you participate, either as a singer, leader, music creator, educator, supporter (or all of the above), Choral Canada is also a charity and needs support to exist. People often imagine that since Choral Canada is national and there are 28,000 choirs and singing groups in Canada, we must be a large organization, when in fact we are quite small. We have two full time staff members (me and Colin) and we only receive one operating grant from Canada Council for the Arts, which does not even cover one salary. Ontario Arts Council has denied our operating grant application, even with highly positive feedback, because the majority of the members we serve are not in Ontario and “we are not far enough along on our ADEI plan”. We are also not eligible for other province-specific funding since we are national in scope.

We diversify our revenues with memberships, advertising, and program entry fees, but these remain as low as possible (membership rates have not increased since 2017). We work really hard to find and build relationships with sponsors (cash and in-kind), advertisers, and foundation support, and host at least one annual fundraising event (silent auction, ticketed social gatherings).

Last and absolutely not even close to the least, we have wonderful, generous donors. We are hoping you will join us! And if you are already a donor, we hope you will support us again and consider increasing your gift.

 

What is Choral Canada’s fundraising goal?

For operations, Choral Canada needs to raise $25,000 in individual and corporate donations in the 2023-24 fiscal year (ends March 31, 2024) and $35,000 in individual and corporate donations in the 2024-25 fiscal year (ends March 31, 2025).

For the 2024 National Youth Choir of Canada program, we need to raise $40,000 in individual and corporate donations by August 2024. We still have quite a ways to go on all these fundraising goals. 

These amounts above do not include what we need to raise through foundations and grants, or the amounts we need in sponsorships, advertising, program entry fees, and more. 

 

Want to help, but are not in a position to do so with a donation?

There are many ways to support Choral Canada and we are so appreciative of everyone who already gives so much to this organization.

  1. Buy/Renew a membership! Membership is open to anyone interested in group singing. You can check to see if your membership is current by logging in to the Members Area or checking the Public Members Resource Directory. On top of all the benefits you receive from your membership, it supports Choral Canada’s many programs and services. 
  2. Volunteer! Volunteers are at the foundation of this organization and are one of the main reasons how we exist today. We have a wonderful Board of Directors and numerous committees, including the Podium 2024 Planning Committee, National Youth Choir Committee, Membership Committee, and more. 
  3. Join our Fundraising Committee! We need people who are interested in supporting Choral Canada’s work and have time and energy to support this crucial component of operating a charitable organization.
  4. Connect us! Do you know an individual/organization/foundation that you think would be interested in supporting Choral Canada (and that is not a conflict with supporting your own choir/singing group)? I would love to hear from you!

 

Want to donate now or later this year?

We strive to make it as easy as possible to donate to Choral Canada and our programs. 

  1. You can donate through our website here and get your tax receipt right away. 

  2. If you prefer CanadaHelps, you can donate here and get your tax receipt right away.

  3. You can join our monthly donor club on CanadaHelps here and get your tax receipt for the accumulated donations at the end of the year. 

  4. You can send us an e-transfer to [email protected] and include a message about your donation, including your name and address for tax receipt purposes. 

  5. You can mail a cheque to us at 230 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto ON M4V 1R5. 

  6. You can give me a call or send me an email, and we can meet to discuss your gift.

 

Why donate to Choral Canada?

I am hoping you can look back over the past few years and reflect on how Choral Canada might have helped you, supported you, connected you with a new collaborator or reunited you with a colleague, advocated for you, answered your questions, and/or impacted your career or your choir/singing group in a positive way. If your reflection brings a smile to your face or makes you feel good, and you are in a position to give, please consider donating to Choral Canada this year. 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. As a leading national organization, Choral Canada and its Board of Directors works diligently to sustain our impact on the sector, ensuring that every dollar donated is carefully and thoughtfully allocated. Your support helps us uphold our commitment to celebrating and championing group singing across Canada in all its forms, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

 

Wishing you all a restful and relaxing winter break. See you in 2024!

 

Meghan Hila
Executive Director, Choral Canada

 

 

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Banner: Ullugiaga╠étsuk Choir at ...float... 2018. Photo: Ritche Perez