Organ Festival Canada goes online!


Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Organ Festival Canada – Victoria 2020 is reimagined as a series of four online concerts featuring a talented lineup of organists. Join us in July for Organ Festival Canada Online!

Looking for some new high-quality online performances this summer? The Royal Canadian College of Organist’s Organ Festival Canada has taken to the clouds for its four-concert mini-festival this July, with events coming from Victoria and Vancouver.

Each live-streamed concert will be professionally recorded and beautifully filmed to show this great instrument in its best light, from multiple angles. Presentations range from a short premiere by beloved west-coast composer, Denis Bédard (10 minutes), to an hour-long transcription of Holst’s “The Planets.”

The concerts are centred around four universal themes — Earth, Heavens, Creation, and Navigation — and feature acclaimed organists Denis Bédard, Donald Hunt, Mark McDonald and David Stratkauskas.

Read about the full program below –

You can tune in to the live broadcasts at the following link (no facebook account required!):

Monday, July 6 (4:30pm PDT / 7:30pm EDT)
“Earth”: Widor’s 5th Symphony (
Donald Hunt, organ
Charles-Marie Widor is the grandfather of the Organ Symphony. From the evocative snapshots in this work’s opening theme and variations to the cavernous Toccata which concludes it, this 35-minute work has something for everyone on earth. Presented in partnership with Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC.

Tuesday, July 7 (4:30pm PDT / 7:30pm EDT)
“Navigation”: Kim Farris-Manning’s MAP; gest (
David Stratkauskas, organ
“The fundamental problem of maps is that the earth is a sphere and that paper is flat.” A similar quandary exists with musical scores, as with anything that lies on the border of imagination and representation; the danger being that if you write down a lie, it might look like the truth. Kim Farris-Manning explores these questions in her improvisatory soundscape. Presented in partnership with the Anglican Church of St. John’s, Victoria, BC.

Wednesday, July 8 (4:30pm PDT / 7:30pm EDT)
“Creation”: Bédard plays Bédard (
Denis Bédard, organ
Join Denis Bédard as he premieres his own composition, Fantasia alla marcia, commissioned by Organ Festival Canada to honour the composer in his 70th birthday year. This event will also feature a special “changing of the guard”: The College’s presidential handover.

Thursday, July 9 (4:30pm PDT / 7:30pm EDT)
“Heavens”: Holst’s The Planets (
Mark McDonald, organ
Originally composed for a full symphony orchestra between 1914 and 1916, this English composer’s magnum opus has been transcribed for one musician and thousands of pipes by Peter Sykes. Prize-winning organist Mark McDonald gives a performance that is out of this world! Presented in partnership with Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria, BC.


Photo Credits: Destination Greater Victoria

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