Vancouver Men's Chorus
In 1981, the first gay choir, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, toured the United States and several men from Vancouver drove the three hours south to Seattle to hear them. On their return, they decided to start a chorus of their own performing their first concert in December of that same year. They officially became the first gay chorus in Canada, a founding member of GALA and the first international gay chorus in that organization.
Under the continuing direction of conductor Willi Zwozdesky, the chorus has achieved national prominence through performances across Canada including visits to Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Victoria, and Montreal, and through radio broadcasts on CBC.
Concert performances in the United States include San Francisco, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, Washington D.C., Denver, San Diego, and San Jose.
In addition, broadcasts of its 1995 recording Making Spirits Bright, the 1992 recording Signature and the 2006 release of Encore have increased national exposure.
In 1991, The Canada Council recognized the chorus for its artistry, and in 1994, the chorus was selected as one of five national finalists in the CBC Amateur Choir Competition. In addition to its mainstage concerts that year, the chorus recorded J. Douglas Dodd’s Symphony of Sound and Light with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Elektra Women’s Choir, and the Vancouver Children’s Choir for broadcast on Parliament Hill during the summer months.