May 2021 Newsletter

In the middle of April, we launched our new project called “Sounds Easy,” dedicated to incredible stories and music of our beloved Festival Artists.

Since then, we have hosted five series – Eric Friesen, the voice of classical music in Canada; George Zuckerman,the combination of artistry and entrepreneurial genius; Moshe Hammer, genial violinist with a strong social position; Cameron Crozman and Marina Thibeault.

Thank you for being with us and spending these amazing Sundays together – we laughed, learned a lot, rejoiced, and just enjoyed our time together!

Our final “Sounds Easy” event is this Sunday, May 23! This is your last chance to join us and ask your own questions of Canada’s top classical music artists. This week, with Cameron Crozman, Canadian Cellist  & Carson Becke, Canadian pianist, we will look at the Canadian music industry from the younger perspective and get inspired by their charismatic energy

The closing session will be available on Sunday, May 23 at 2pm via the button (it won’t be live until Friday):

Sounds Easy with Cameron and Carson

As you already know, the 2021 Festival season will be an entirely online experience.
However we are so happy to finally announce the exact dates! Woo hoo!
June 6 – Release of 2021 program details & starting the tickets sale
August 9 and 11, 16 and 18, 23 and 25 – Virtual and interactive concert series
– We are still bringing you some of the greatest music in the world by many of the world’s finest musicians;

– There will be opportunities aplenty to see and interact with your Festival Family;

– We’re bringing the live Festival experience to you – wherever you are – with some personal extras: pre-concert Happy Hours, post-show Night Caps, recipes for our artists’ favourite meals, some cocktail making demonstrations, and more!

– You can gather in person with as many people as you like (and as protocols allow) to view!

– You can enjoy world-class performances from the comfort of your home or cottage, even your deck, dock, or bridge club.

Throughout 2020-21, and in preparation for a scenario such as this, we invested heavily in technology to make sure the audio and the visuals we provide are of superb quality. 

The Festival of the Sound is more grateful than ever to you for your generous support of classical music in Canada, and we are confident we will be coming through this stronger than ever!

The Festival of the Sound’s virtual Annual General Meeting occurred this Monday, May 17. Pandemic times are challenging for the Festival, but during the AGM, we once again made sure that we can go through it with YOU and all your support. We heard from our Artistic Director James Campbell, Board of Directors, and staff about our many successes over the past tremendously challenging year and how we are thriving into the future.In addition to the regular business, such as the election of Directors, presentation of financial statements, etc., the event featured a special musical performance Beethoven Clarinet Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 11 that made our time together even more incredible.

Contact our office today and find out how you can become a member!
Staff Sounds is our new monthly newsletter feature where you can meet our beloved team. Today, meet Chris, the Festival’s Stage Manager & Assistant to the Artistic Director.
1. How long have you been working for the Festival of the Sound, and how did you get here? 

This summer will mark my 6th year with the Festival of the Sound! I was extremely blessed to have had Brenda Shaw as a teacher at Parry Sound High School numerous times and she was a very special person to me. She was quite involved with the Festival and encouraged me every summer to join the team. I was somewhat hesitant as I was already employed full-time at Dairy Queen and didn’t want to leave it for another job. Eventually, I thought I would give the Festival a try (while still maintaining my job at DQ) and in the summer of 2016 I began my first summer as a Box Office Clerk. I had such a fantastic summer getting to meet so many incredible musicians (as I quickly became a page-turner due to my musical background) not to mention the wonderful staff and Board that made me feel right at home in my new job. From that point on I was hooked and have worked every summer with the Festival ever since!

2. Your official role is Stage Manager, but it is far from the only thing you do. What roles do you also play? Has your work got more difficult when the COVID-19 hit?

I officially became Stage Manager for the Festival in 2018 after a year of working together with long-time Stage Manager Kelly Crowhurst. In the past, I worked primarily in the summer only (as I was a student) so my main role leading up to the actual Festival was artist liaison (interspersed with various other duties such as proofreading the brochure/programme, organising accommodations for Festival Artists, co-creating the rehearsal schedule with Jim, etc.). During the Festival proper (pre-COVID) I would work backstage, collaborating with Craig and Thomas at the Stockey Centre to figure out stage layouts for each performance, page-turning for various pianists, setting up the stage for each performance (i.e., stands, piano, chairs, etc.), and more! Since COVID-19 hit I started working virtually for the Festival (since teaching was put on standby) and have experienced many different roles since then. From marketing, graphic design, creating our eShop, editing virtual concerts and more, it’s been quite a journey. I’m so thankful that we have such a great team here that helps make all of our jobs easier – I couldn’t do it without them!

3. What connection do you have to classical music? 

I have always enjoyed classical music since I was very young, but my real journey into classical music began in 2005 when I joined the Parry Sound Children’s Choir run by William McArton. I continue to be a part of the Parry Sound Choral Collective to this day and it has a very special place in my heart. A few years later, after being taught the basics of playing the piano in music class by Laura Zulak, I started to take piano lessons from Bill which I continued into high school. In grade 8 the high school music students came to our school and we had a chance to learn instruments for the first time (outside of keyboards). This was the first time I got to try the clarinet and it was in this moment that I decided I wanted to take music all through high school. 

When I got to high school, I was SO fortunate to have Nikki Brown as my music teacher. She was such a huge inspiration to me and she, along with Bill, really cultivated my love and passion for music. I decided about halfway through my high school career that I wanted to become and music teacher and with Nikki and Bill’s help I pursued my Bachelor of Music Education at Wilfrid Laurier University. After 4 incredible years there I went on to complete my Bachelor of Education at Nipissing University and started teaching with the Waterloo Region District School Board in September 2019. I maintain my musical chops by playing clarinet in the North Bay Symphony, Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra, and Fuse Orchestra (formerly Vera Causa Opera).

4. What do you like the most about the Festival? 

My favourite part of the Festival is threefold: the people, the music, and the environment. First, the people. The musicians I get to meet and interact with backstage are some of the best in the world and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to collaborate with them. The staff and Board of Directors are so welcoming and work like a well-oiled machine to help the Festival to run smoothly no matter what we face. The patrons we get to interact with outside of concerts and at the office really brings a sense of community to the Festival. Secondly, the music. I think this is self-explanatory; world-class music in an acoustically-perfect venue? Nothing better! Lastly, the environment. Two words: Georgian Bay.

5. How do you see the Festival in 5 years?

In 5 years I think the Festival will be back to “normal”, but a NEW normal. We will all be vaccinated from COVID-19 and will be experiencing live music together once again. However, I think that the new areas that COVID-19 forced us to explore (e.g., livestreaming, virtual events, etc.) will continue to be a part of the Festival world. It’s all very exciting (especially being able to experience live music. We ALL need that; musicians and audience alike).

Thank you, Chris! Next month Staff Sounds will feature Sandra Little, Finance & Admin Officer. 

We are excited to again host our SECOND ANNUAL VIRTUAL PLANT SALE, sponsored by Scotiabank!












Our goal this year is to raise $4000!! We have appreciated the generosity of our plant patrons in the past and anticipate this year will be just as successful!

From now until Saturday, May 29th you will be able to visit our Festival eShop and start your shopping! We are offering a wide variety of plants for sale, along with our famous mystery plants. We encourage you to shop early but also visit our eShop often to keep up to date on the plants available.

After placing your order you will receive a confirmation email containing information regarding your order (i.e., plant(s) ordered and the grand total) for your records. Within the next 1-2 business days, you will also receive an email from us with a designated time for you to pick up your plants (see below). We will allow a time interval between pick up times to ensure we are following safe physical distancing practices.

On Saturday, June 5th we will have Festival volunteers at the Festival Office (1 Avenue Road, Parry Sound) to assist you with picking up your plants. Please do not exit your vehicle; we will be happy to transport them directly to your vehicle.

Shop Now

While the Shop on Avenue Road is closed to the public at this time, online shopping & curbside pick-up is still available

Visit our eShop at