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About this collection

Kathaumixw Beginnings houses documents related to the founding of the International Choral Kathaumixw Festival, held every 2 years in Powell River, BC. The event has grown since the inaugural festival in 1984, which had 400 singers, to the 1200 singers that come biennially to attend the festival today.

 

Powell River already had a strong choral tradition, the Powell River Academy of Music being the home of several community choirs. After travelling to an international festival Europe with the renowned Powell River Boys Choir, the Academy music director, Don James, wondered why there couldn’t be a similar festival held in North America. When on a hike with his friend Dal Matterson, a mill executive, in the beautiful surroundings of Powell River, Don suggested to Dal that they organize that festival in Powell River. With that commitment, Don and Dal, as Musical Director and Chairman, along with a group of close friends, organized the first International Choral Kathaumixw in 1984.

 

Don wanted to use a Coast Salish word to name the festival, and Kathaumixw (click to listen to the pronounciation), meaning “a gathering together of different peoples,” seemed like the perfect word to encompass the intent of the festival.

 

The collection houses founding documents, such as the purpose as it was first conceived by the founding committee, the initial budget, the syllabus and program of the first festival in 1984 as well as some pamphlet about the festival.

 

We want to thank the International Choral Kathaumixw organising committee and board of directors, and the Powell River Academy of Music. A special thanks to Carrie Lanigan for providing us with access to Kathaumixw materials.

 
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