VIVA!’s five choirs, for ages four through adult, offer members the opportunity to achieve artistic excellence in a singer-centered, collaborative choral community, featuring youth mentoring programs and the TD Bank Group Inclusion Program.
Founded in 2000 by Carol Woodward Ratzlaff in response to widespread cuts to public school arts programs, 2017-18 marks VIVA!’s 18th season as a downtown family of choirs.
VIVA!’s choirs include: the Preparatory Chorus (ages 4-6); the Junior Choir (ages 6-10); the Main Chorus (ages 9-16); the SATB Chamber Choir (senior high school, university students and adults); and the non-auditioned VIVA! Community Choir (SATB) which incorporates Everyone Can Sing (ECS), an auditioned group for those aged 13 and up with disabilities. VIVA’s unique TD Bank Group Inclusion Program provides support for all singers with disabilities.
Also singular to VIVA! is the Choral Mentoring and Leadership Program, which forms an integral part of VIVA!’s structure. This Program provides young leaders and aspiring educators with vital opportunities to assist with and instruct singers of all ages and needs. Each choir boasts a number of Teaching Assistants and Vocal Coaches, drawn from the Community & Chamber Choirs.
Jointly, the choirs present two concerts annually in Jeanne Lamon Hall at the Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre. Each year, VIVA! invites Canadian guest artists to join the choirs in concert, at the Performing Arts Camp and at the Annual Spring Gala Fundraiser. Recognized for its Canadian commissions and diverse programming, VIVA! has an enduring relationship with several arts organizations, including The National Ballet of Canada, The Toronto Consort, Jumblies Theatre, Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre for Faith, Justice and the Arts; and composers including Dean Burry, James Rolfe, Juliet Palmer, Alice Ho, Leslie Arden, Wende Bartley, Norman Gabriel Nurmi and in 2018, Sarah Quartel. Recordings include Carols by Candlelight (2013), and The Best Years (2010).
VIVA!’s choirs have toured to New York City, England, Wales and Greece. In July 2017, the choir will embark upon an international tour to Spain, where they will attend the International Federation for Choral Music Conference in Barcelona.
VIVA!’s goal of authentic music-making and community-building through the best possible repertoire is achieved by a team of fine musicians, members of the Choral Mentoring & Leadership Program, and a dynamic Board of Directors.
VIVA! Youth Singers of Toronto is a member of Choirs Ontario and Choral Canada.
Website Photography by: Erika Jacobs, Bill Fallis, Ria Tzimas, Kate Fowley, Simon Au
Past Season Highlights
- December Concert Carol of the Child
- February Performance at Leonard Cohen: Ethics and The Artist
- May Youngest Choirs Performance at a local retirement residence
- May Concert Juntos (Together) – España meets Canada at 150
- July Tour to Spain
- Performance at the Metro Convention Centre at the Children’s Aid Foundation Gala
- November Concert – SHANTI! Our Native Land with Cree Hand Drummer and Song Catcher Veronica Johnny
- March – Bach John Passion for Main Chorus and Chamber Youth Choir with orchestra and the Trinity St. Paul’s United Church Choir
- June – The Sword in the Schoolyard, A World Premiere
- performance at the Bliss Ball Fundraiser for the Dilawri Foundation
- Chamber Youth Choir performance at Trinity St. Paul’s Centre’s Remembrance Day Service
- January concert Songs of Innocence with guest artist Michelle Colton, percussion
- Main Chorus participation at the Ontario Vocal Festival in Caledon in February
- Noon Hour Concert at Roy Thomson Hall by Main Chorus and Chamber Youth Choir in March
- The Play of Daniel, a medieval liturgical drama, with The Toronto Consort
- June concert Sumer is Icumen In with guest artists Colin Savage, recorder and Terry McKenna, lute
- Canada’s Walk of Fame Performance with rocker Alice Cooper in honour of legendary music producer Bob Ezrin, broadcast on Global TV
- performance at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre’s 100th Anniversary Chandelier Gala
- 5th Annual City Carol Sing, a foodbank fundraiser, broadcast on City TV
- Brother Heinrich’s Christmas, a seasonal concert
- Requiem by W. A. Mozart with the Talisker Players Orchestra
- Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic operetta The Mikado performed by all choirs with the Kingsway Chamber Strings
- children’s opera Noye’s Fludde by Benjamin Britten
- A Medieval Bestiary with Toronto Consort by Dean Burry
- music inspired by Greek mythology
- music by Greek Canadian Christos Hatzis
- Greek folk dancer participation
- all choirs house organization by Greek gods
- season culminating tour to Greece in July 2012