What’s up at the IRCPA?

What’s next and how to get involved.

In 2015 we presented 9 Workshops and 3 Encounters. See impact and video. This was a time of growth and transition with additions to the board of directors, and the completion of a strategic plan. In 2016 we have organized three major events: October 12 for singers, a concert on October 22 and a workshop on November 13 for musicians and singers who are in the throes of developing their careers.

These are letters received from the participants of THE SAVVY MUSICIAN Workshop.


“Congratulations on yet another fantastic IRCPA event. You continue to inspire with the depth of presenter and participant that you are able to track. And I thank you for the honor of introducing Margaret Lioi.  She is magnificent.

I am so sorry that I have to run out before the program ended…. I feel privileged to be able to work with you and to be in your circles. I also want to express my appreciation for your recognition of the First Nations in your opening remarks.”

Ron Davis,  Jazz-Pianist,  SymphRonica


“I was honoured to be a part of the event, and glad to be able to be able to help on that day.

The Savvy Musician workshop was fantastic. The author and workshop leader David Cutler was very knowledgeable, having been in our position – an independent musician in a new era of music and a changing industry. He walked us through a very important concept, the idea that you don’t have to expect to only do one thing to make your livelihood – multiple streams of income – passive and active – can and should be used to create a real life. The artist doesn’t need to be ‘struggling’ if he uses all his talents!

 Faith Amour, jazz singer-songwriter/Volunteer

David Cutler, Ron Davis
David Cutler, Ron Davis
Margaret Lioi, Faith Amour, Robert Baird
Margaret Lioi, Faith Amour, Robert Baird

 The IRCPA wants to thank all the participants of THE SAVVY MUSICIAN Workshop, it was great to see you all.

On Sunday November 13, 2016, at the Long & Mcquade hall, the IRCPA presented The Savvy Musician Workshop, with jazz and classical pianist David Cutler plus guests from Chamber Music America, Europe’s International Art Managers Association (IAMA), and North American Performing Arts Managers and Agents (NAPAMA).


A Life in Music: BIG Ideas on Career & Financial Success
This interactive workshop by arts entrepreneurship guru David Cutler unveiled a variety of uncommon ideas that help musicians of all disciplines to thrive. Success as a musician requires much more than talent and hard work.


For the first time in their history, members of two important international artist management organizations came together “on the road” in Toronto – IAMA, from Europe and NAPAMA. Peter Freeman of IAMA, and Tim Robinson, NAPAMA board member, described their organizations and representation for artists.

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PLUS: At the invitation of the IRCPA, the CEO of Chamber Music America, Margaret Lioi, described the services and benefits available to Canadian musicians, including showcases in New York, networking with the more than 6,000 members, 25% of whom are jazz artists. Jazz pianist and composer Billy Childs is the recently elected president.

Robert Baird, author of the Crossing Borders guides, gave border crossing tips including getting visas and work permits, and dealing with customs inspections when touring.


10 am – 11:30: Introduction – workshop with David Cutler
11:30 12:00: Robert Baird discusses border-crossing issues
12:00 – 12:20 pm: Introduction of Margaret Lioi of CMA by Ron Davis
12:20 – 12:40: Introduction – Peter Freeman of IAMA

12:40 – 13:00: Introduction – Tim Robinson, NAPAMA board member
13:00 – 14:00: Free Lunch available to maximize networking
14:00 – 16:00: Workshop with David Cutler
16:00 – 16:30: Wrap/Networking

Margaret Lioi, Peter Freeman, Robert Baird, David Cutler, Tim Robinson.
Margaret Lioi, Peter Freeman, Robert Baird, David Cutler, Tim Robinson.
David Cutler’s IRCPA Savvy Musician Workshop. November 13, 2016
David Cutler’s IRCPA Savvy Musician Workshop. November 13, 2016
Tim Robinson (NAPAMA), horn player Amelia Shiels, pianist Rachel Peacock
Tim Robinson (NAPAMA), horn player Amelia Shiels, pianist Rachel Peacock

with CEO Margaret Lioi
November 13 – Toronto, Canada

What is Chamber Music?

CMA defines chamber music as music composed for small ensembles, with one musician per part, generally performed without a conductor.

The term once referred only to Western classical music for small ensembles, such as string quartets. But today chamber music encompasses myriad forms, including contemporary and traditional jazz, classical, and world genres.

Who is Chamber Music America?

Margaret M. Lioi, CEO
Margaret M. Lioi, CEO


Soprano Natalya Gennadi and mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais have been named recipients of a “Career Blueprint”, valuable and essential materials for opera singers offered by the National Opera America Center. The Center, in New York, is a colleague of the Toronto-based International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA), a service organization for Canada’s musicians.

Gennadi and Maltais will spend three days at the National Opera America Center, receiving new photographs, video and audio recordings, new promotional materials, website consultation, and mentoring with professionals – all the essential tools for artists to obtain and perform auditions with confidence.

The announcement was made by IRCPA founder and director Ann Summers Dossena at the conclusion of Singing Stars of Tomorrow, a performance of operatic arias featuring seven sopranos, two mezzos and one tenor with pianist Rachel Andrist, Saturday, October 22 at Toronto’s Alliance Française. All had taken part the previous week in a one-day Encounter with Sondra Radvanovsky, one of today’s most celebrated sopranos.

The 10 singers were selected from over 30 applicants by a panel of leading vocal artists – manager Kathy Domoney, baritone Brett Polegato, and teachers Lois McDonall (retired soprano) and mezzo-soprano Laura Tucker. Ms. Radvanovsky was left to choose a Career Blueprint recipient. However, she couldn’t decide and named two. The IRCPA is taking this challenge in stride and will seek the extra funds needed. Name a Scholarship donations can be made here.

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Each of the 10 singers was given a scholarship named for an important Canadian artist. Through the Name a Scholarship campaign, the Ed Mirvish Family Foundation and private donors enabled them to participate without financial burden. These scholarships will become a significant addition to their biographies, and remind them, as well as the general public, to take pride in and draw inspiration from celebrated artists of recent generations and benefit from their histories.

Natalya Gennadi received a scholarship honouring internationally acclaimed soprano Karina Gauvin, who is especially recognised for her interpretation of Baroque music and currently performing in Europe. Marjorie Maltais’s scholarship commemorated the late Ruby Mercer, an opera singer from the U.S. who became one of Canada’s leading advocates for the art form. In her retirement, Mercer hosted opera programs on CBC Radio, founded Opera Canada Magazine and the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus (now Canadian Children’s Opera Company), for which she commissioned Gian Carlo Menotti to compose the children’s opera Chip and His Dog.

A native of Clermont, Québec, mezzo-soprano Marjorie Maltais received her Master of Music degree in Literature and Performance from the University of Western Ontario in 2015. She was also invited to the Music Academy of the West’s Marilyn Horne Summer Music Festival in Santa Barbara, California. During the past year, Ms. Maltais was a guest artist performing in Mozart’s Requiem with the Boise Philharmonic and Guelph Symphony, Messiah with the Windsor Symphony and Bach’s B Minor Mass with the Orpheus Choir and Chorus Niagara. This season, Ms. Maltais will appear in Elijah with Toronto’s Pax Christi Chorale, Messiah with the McGill Chamber Orchestra and St. Matthew Passion with Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings.

Originally from Ukraine, soprano Natalya Gennadi began her musical studies at the University of Ottawa, continuing at the University of Toronto, where she received a Master’s degree in Operatic Performance. She has appeared in the title role in The Merry Widow with the Ottawa Savoy Theatre Society; and sung the role of Zemfira in Rachmaninoff’s Aleko with Opera Five in Toronto and Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with Opera Nuova. In 2015, Ms. Gennadi made her VoiceBox debut as Yaroslavna in Borodin’s Prince Igor. This past summer, she sang with the Brott Opera as Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro.

The Singing Stars of Tomorrow concert was presented by the IRCPA in partnership with the Alliance Française.


“I am currently in New York for auditions…I opened both my auditions with Non piu mesta and used Sondra’s suggestions and I must say that I felt strong and confident. Thanks to you and Sondra!

Marjorie Maltais, Mezzo-Soprano


it was a magical experience and I am very grateful about receiving the Career Blueprint. For people like me, out of university for a few years, not able to afford/being too old for young artist programs, there are really not many chances to have access to  high level training…This is my third ‘big’ workshop with IRCPA and every one of them made a great impact on my professional development. Working with world-class professionals is a valuable boost to a younger singer’s resume.  Also, one of the things I high appreciated is the level of organization of IRCPA events.  No delays, high profile accompanists, convenient venues – all of these details make the experience even more enjoyable.  I’d like to express my gratitude for the Scholarships that we received for the Encounter.  I found IRCPA’s events well worth the price in the past but the extra assistance made a big difference for me personally as I am the main breadwinner for my family.”

Natalya Gennadi Matyusheva, soprano, Toronto


More comments from participants are posted here.

2016 - Singing Stars of Tomorrow
2016 - Singing Stars of Tomorrow

Thank You, Sondra!

The IRCPA and tonight’s singers are deeply grateful to soprano Sondra Radvanovsky for generously making time in her demanding schedule to share her knowledge and recommendations with us last week.

As one of the participants writes:

“I left the Encounter feeling inspired, motivated and eager to get to work in the practice room. The amount of information and knowledge I gained is quite frankly immeasurable; the technical advice I got from Sondra while working with her was literally priceless. Sondra said that it is her duty to give back to the art form and pass along the torch to the next generation of opera singers. I, too, hope that I can one day do the same.”


News from Italy

Apply now or reserve your seat for the
Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy

September 1 to 14, 2017

Giuseppe Verdi

After last years’ thrilling work on Falstaff and La Traviata,

Riccardo Muti has again chosen Giuseppe Verdi for the 2017 edition, this time focusing on Aida.

Riccardo Muti will be working on the piano, on the podium and with the orchestra to go straight to the opera’s heart in close contact with the young musicians from all over the world personally selected by him, and in front of an audience.

To apply as an active student click here.

To attend the rehearsals as a listener/audience click here.


Name A Scholarship!

Sondra Radvanovsky has generously given the IRCPA one of her days off during her performances with the Canadian Opera Company in October. 10 singers will have the opportunity to work with Sondra on artistic skills, career guidance and advice. Almost 10 scholarships at $400 each, named for important Canadian artists, have been donated for singers to participate without financial burden.

There are three reasons we felt this is necessary. First, in order to include the best artists rather than who can afford it means there needs to be no fee. Second, it gives artists something important to add to their bios. Third, the artists, as well as the general public, need to be reminded and take pride in artists of the past and benefit from their histories.

The scholarships already donated are in the names of Louis Quilico, Clarice Carson, Ermanno Mauro, Maureen Forrester, Judith Forst, Lois McDonall, Ruby Mercer, Karina Gauvin and Mary Morrison. Anyone wishing to donate a scholarship may honour an artist of their choice. Canada has so many great artists to honour of the past and present.

Since the response for scholarships has been encouraging, we are working toward 6 more. With three donations of $400 each ($1200 total), we will be able to present the 10 singers in concert on October 22.

The vocal advisory group will select 10 (plus 1 alternate) singers after September 20 for the Encounter, and with the input of Sondra, select the one singer who will be awarded the Career Blueprint on October 22. The advisory group includes Adrianne Pieczonka, Kathy Domoney, Laura Tucker, Lois McDonall, Brett Polegato and Mary Morrison.

Click here to make a donation. Thanks.

blue donate

Great Memories
Listen the live streamed Canada Day concert in Rome July 2013

from the Accademia Filarmonica Romana

with soprano Jana Miller, pianist Jordan de Souza, clarinetist Kornel Wolak, violinist Guillaume Tardif and the Borealis String Quartet.

8 Canadians made Roman debuts, several Canadian composers had European and Roman premieres.


Please be advised that the programs are subject to change.

Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico hosts This Is My Music on CBC Radio2

If you didn’t hear the broadcast of the CBC program with Pianist Christina Petrowska Quilico as host of This Is My Music, here’s the link.


with Monica Whicher and Rachel Andrist.
Opens October 23rd with NATHALIE PAULIN, continues February 17 with ADRIANNE PIECZONKA.

Read more…

If you are not already a member, we invite you to join IRCPA, get involved and stay in the loop!

Membership is without charge

  • To get the most from membership, get involved by contributing ideas, bringing your challenges and colleagues to the table for networking, “talking shop” or sharing experiences.
  • We welcome volunteers to help with members’ news, the Round-Table Discussions, Focus Groups or Brainstorming sessions.
  • Until we have a permanent home, smaller group events (discussions etc.) are held in party rooms or living rooms of willing and able volunteers

The IRCPA serves both as a community hub for networking musicians, and as an incubator where career enhancing programs help artists meet or exceed career goals.

Keep Us Informed!

Performances, CD or DVD launches, and other important news or events by members are important. Your news will be shared on our social media, presenters, media, programmers, and friends of the IRCPA.

From League of American Orchestras

Updated information from the League about new executive order on U.S. travel restrictions

Updated information from the League about new executive order on U.S. travel restrictions


The White House has revoked the executive order concerning international travel announced on January 27, 2017 and has issued a new executive order that takes effect on March 16, 2017. While the legal and arts communities continue to study the order more fully, the League of American Orchestras’ Artists from Abroad website has been updated with information about key ways the new rules intersect with travel by artists from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. In addition to restrictions on travel by artists from those countries, global changes include immediate suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program (VIWP); all nonimmigrant visa applicants must have in-person interviews. The elimination of the VIWP option will create more demand for consular appointments, so artists should allow extra time for the visa approval process. Vetting and screening procedures will be heightened at all levels of the immigration process. Artists from Abroad provides arts-specific guidance on the immigration and taxation procedures needed to present international performing guest artists in the U.S. Click here for more information.

Posted March 9, 2017
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Behind the US Justice Department ruling about music-licensing royalty agreements

“The American Justice Department announced on Thursday that it had concluded a two-year investigation into the complex world of music licensing and decided against making changes to the regulatory agreements that govern ASCAP and BMI, two large clearinghouses for performing rights that process about $2 billion in royalty payments each year” for composers and music publishers, writes Ben Sisario in Friday’s (8/5) New York Times. “BMI quickly said it would challenge the decision in federal court, and ASCAP said it would ‘explore legislative solutions’ to the problems of music licensing in the digital age.… Since 1941 [ASCAP and BMI] have been bound by regulatory agreements called consent decrees. Two years ago, both organizations asked the Justice Department to change these agreements … to secure fair royalty rates in the digital era…. The Justice Department [instead] added a requirement, saying that for ASCAP and BMI to comply with the existing regulations, they must offer ‘100 percent licensing’ of their songs. Many songs have multiple writers, and those writers don’t always belong to the same rights society…. The Justice Department is giving the music industry a year to comply… It is unclear how this would happen, but industry executives say it could include the creation of new databases to share data that previously was proprietary.”

Posted August 10, 2016
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Ian Smith, Chairman of the European Music Commission, has given this statement:

Dear members and friends of the European Music Council,

I write as Chair/President of the European Music Council to express my deep regret and sorrow that at yesterday’s referendum, the UK voted to leave the European Union by a narrow margin of 52% voting to leave and 48% voting to remain. The EMC remains at the core of my being and my responsibilities as Chair are if anything strengthened by this regrettable vote. I am happy to report that Scotland voted by a clear majority of 62% to remain as part of the EU and that could, of course lead, not only to the break up of Europe, which we all fear, but the break up of the UK too.

The majority vote has come almost entirely from an English-based populace who fear continuing immigration and want to retain control of the UK which is, in my view a misplaced priority and fails to grasp that we are stronger together. From a cultural and artistic perspective this is certainly the case and is why the European Music Council is strong and that strength comes from our members and our shared priorities and vision for music as a universal language that knows no barriers wherever it is practiced across all genres, all abilities and for the benefit of all peoples.

We will remain strong and focussed on our European and global agenda and I hope it is clear that what has just happened in the UK must make us all vigilant and ensure that we unite through the common language of music that is and remains our passion.

Ian Smith, Chair of the EMC


53830889 - brexit uk eu referndum concept with flags and topical message

Visas: seeking more expedience, not expense!

This week, the League led a broad coalition of national performing arts organizations calling for immediate improvements to the U.S. visa process for international artists. Amidst lengthy processing delays, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed making it more costly to apply for the required visas for foreign guest artists, increasing the filing fee by 42% from $325 to $460. The date for implementing the proposed fee increase has not yet been set. The League has submitted comments on behalf of orchestras – and in partnership with a national nonprofit performance arts coalition including the American Federation of Musicians, Performing Arts Alliance, The Recording Academy, and many others – urging USCIS to make immediate improvements to the artist visa process.

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Musical America Magazine offers an online marketing program.
Check out the showcase opportunities.

Make your international debut with the Musical America Artist Showcase

The Artist Showcase is an online marketing program available to performing artists all year long, with targeted reach to key performing arts decision-makers, buyers of talent, artist managers and others who can be influential in the advancement of your career.

The Artist Showcase page includes your photo, bio, audio, video, reviews, discography and more. Click here to see the full Artist Showcase Gallery. Musical America pro-actively promotes the Artist Showcase: a dedicated e-blast is sent quarterly to Musical America’s mailing list of 26,000+ industry professionals.

Find out about all that is included! Please click here for more information and affordable costs.

Contact us and we will be glad to give you a call to answer your questions.


Canada’s intention to lift the visa requirement for Mexican visitors.

The Government of Canada has made it a top priority to re-establish and strengthen our relationship with one of our most important partners, Mexico.

Today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced Canada’s intention to lift the visa requirement for Mexican visitors beginning December 1, 2016. The announcement came during a productive two-day State visit to Canada by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Lifting the visa requirement will deepen the ties between Canada and Mexico and will increase the flow of travellers, ideas, and business between both countries, as well as artists.


Proposed Legislation to Help Touring Canadians Enter U.S.

April 11, 2016 – As recently reported, visa processing delays by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service centers have become a major problem for Canadian touring artists and U.S. presenters. In an attempt to resolve the issues, a bipartisan legislation was recently introduced in the Congress.

The proposed “Bringing Entertainment Artists to the States” (BEATS) Act is intended to streamline the process of obtaining a P-2 classification for Canadian artists.

The P-2 classification is for artists and entertainers, individually or as a group (including essential support personnel), performing in the United States under a bilateral, reciprocal exchange program. The only P-2 programs at the moment are conducted under the auspices of the American Federation of Musicians (with the Canadian Federation of Musicians) and Actors’ Equity (with the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association).

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Under the BEATS Act, Canadian artists would be able to file a P-2 petition for admission into the United States with an immigration officer at any Class A port of entry located on the border of the United States and Canada, or at any pre-clearance station at a Canadian airport, right on their way into the US. The Act would also provide Canadian artists the flexibility to alter the dates and venues of performances listed in the original petition. The only stipulation is that the additional performances or engagements cannot be more than one third of the performances or engagements listed on the original petition.

The proposed Act however has limitations. First, it would only assist Canadian artists applying for a visa through one of the P-2 union reciprocal programs that are currently established with the American Federation of Musicians and Actors’ Equity. Second, artists choosing to process their petition at a port of entry would run the risk of seeing the petition turned down by a border official, which would result in last-minute cancellations. Third, it is unlikely that Congress will pass the Act before the November election.

In spite of this, the Beats Act, just like the Arts Require Timely Service Act, is another positive step towards raising awareness of the challenges related immigration for Canadian artists touring in the United States.

Sources: Canadian Independent Music Association and Canadian Federation of Musicians

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New Ivory Rules Support Musical Instruments.

On July 6, 2016, new rules will take effect related to both international travel and domestic commerce with musical instruments that contain small quantities of African elephant ivory. The League played a key leadership role in national conversations with White House officials, top leadership at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Congress, and conservation organizations to successfully seek solutions that would address urgent conservation concerns while also protecting international cultural activity.

The rules broaden access to travel permits, allow for domestic interstate commerce in musical instruments containing small quantities of ivory, and very helpfully clarify that legally-crafted musical instruments are not contributing to the African elephant poaching and trafficking crisis.

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In announcing the rules to reverse current travel restrictions and provide opportunities for ongoing domestic interstate commerce in musical instruments, the USFWS stated that, “We listened carefully to the legitimate concerns raised by various stakeholder groups and, as a result, are allowing commonsense, narrow exceptions for musicians, musical instrument makers and dealers…to trade items that have minimal amounts of ivory and satisfy other conditions. These items are not drivers of elephant poaching and do not provide cover for traffickers.”

What does that mean?

For international travel, the new rules remove the current prohibition on travel with musical instruments purchased after February 25, 2014 that legally contain African elephant ivory. This removal of the purchase date restriction is a significant improvement. By July 6, the USFWS will issue a revised Director’s Order clarifying the policy change, and musicians who purchased instruments after February 25, 2014 that legally contain ivory will be eligible to apply for a travel permit.

That sounds good, but there will still be problems with over-zealous Customs officials.

Under the new rules, a musical instrument that contains African elephant ivory may qualify for a travel permit if the worked African elephant ivory meets all of the following criteria:
– The African elephant ivory contained in the instrument was legally acquired and removed from the wild prior to February 26, 1976;
– The instrument containing worked ivory is accompanied by a valid Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) musical instrument certificate or equivalent CITES document;

– The instrument is securely marked or uniquely identified so that authorities can verify that the certificate corresponds to the musical instrument in question; and

– The instrument is not sold, traded, or otherwise disposed of while outside the certificate holder’s country of usual residence.
This is not over yet.

Further requests of the music community related to easing international travel restrictions will be under consideration in separate U.S. rulemaking procedures, and as CITES is renegotiated in 2016.

For more information, review the 114-page rule and the Fish and Wildlife Service’s FAQs.

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Here’s how to board Airberlin with a viola or violin

Fiona Stevens has nailed it:

I had a very pleasant conversation today with Frau Unger from Airberlin head office who has helped many of us violinists in the past. She allows me to post the following procedure for taking violins on board until the wording of Airberlin terms & conditions is changed.
Anyone wishing to take a violin/viola on board should write to medspecialrequest@airberlin.com stating their flight & booking number, and the dimensions & weight of their instrument case. They should then receive written confirmation that they will be able to take the instrument as handluggage at no extra cost.

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For anyone wondering why, whilst top management has decided to change policy in favour of musicians, it is taking so long for the official wording to be changed: this is (much the same as my recent post re Eurowings) because changing the wording of general terms & conditions requires every department (including legal) to ok the new wording, and this simply takes time.

From Slipped Disc

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Isabel Overton Bader Canadian Violin Competition:

April 26 – 29, 2017 Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. Application Deadline: December 5, 2016.




A new Canada-wide Music Composition Competition

McGill University’s Schulich School of Music has announced a new competition open to all Canadian composers age 35 or younger.

The competition will be funded by a $1 million donation from McGill alumnus Dr Graham Sommer.

The Graham Sommer Competition for Young Composers will “shine a spotlight on the best young composers from across Canada, bringing them to the attention of the Canadian public and the international musical world,” said Schulich School of Music’s Interim Dean, Julie Cumming.

The first annual competition is slated to begin in the Spring of 2017 and will commemorate Canada’s 150th and Montreal’s 375th-anniversary celebrations. Contest details will be release later this year.