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Orchestra North Academy 2023

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About the Program


The Orchestra North Academy (July 27- August 1, followed by a Northern BC tour) provides intensive orchestral and chamber music studies with leadership and teaching opportunities for musicians pursuing, or graduated from post-secondary education.


The Academy Program is for advanced students and young professionals who wish to improve their skills, gain performance and teaching experience, and hone their abilities as performers. The Orchestra North Academy provides  musicians with an interest in performance and/or education, valuable opportunities to connect with a professional network of northern BC's musicians, and a chance to discover and experience the beauty of northern BC and the many opportunities that the area presents to musicians.

The 2023 Orchestra North Summer Program Academy is open to advanced (university level) and professional musicians: strings are mainly sought after, but we may accept, flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, horn, harp and piano, who will be selectively chosen to form the Academy Ensemble.  

Orchestra North Academy 2023 will feature:

-A week-long rehearsal and collaboration with professional faculty (see webpage for more information)
-Teaching and leadership development opportunities with players of all levels during the Mini-ONSP, and possible workshops during the northern BC Academy tour.
-Performance opportunities alongside faculty in chamber ensembles
-Solo recital opportunities in the Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival
-Northern BC concert tour from August 2 until August 5, 2023.

This is a competitive program, and successful applicants will be notified within 2 weeks of their application. Interested applicants who are not offered a spot in the Academy program may be invited to join Orchestra North as TA's, depending on interest, experience, and suitability. Applicants to the Academy Program AND anyone interested being a TA are invited to contact for more information.


Note that full bursaries are offered to anyone accepted as a TAs, and Academy members may receive a stipend.

Program Philosophy

Like all activities of the Orchestra North Summer Program, the peer mentorship format of the ONA Residency is based on a firm belief that all professionals are lifelong students of our craft because our art merits a constant striving for excellence. As such, we all have much to learn and much to offer others. 


The Orchestra North Summer Program is dedicated to encouraging musical excellence and enthusiasm in northern BC. Now in its 10th season, the program is once again supporting northern artists by providing professional musicians and gifted university students a chance to interact and develop through fun and quality music making.


The Orchestra North Summer Program’s mandate is to serve the artistic needs of northern and rural areas, which means that we have to first support the needs of our musicians. As our region is so vast and our communities small, this opportunity for professional musicians to meet, study, work, and play together is much needed in northern BC.


Program Costs

In an effort to continue to support artists and their professional practice, we are committed to create a cost-neutral situation for our professional artists. The costs of the program and of the residency will be offset by grants. Generous sponsorships have made it possible to additionally offer a modest travel stipend and food allowance to all participant artists.


The Location

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For those who love the outdoors and welcome a chance to connect with nature, Northern BC is a spectacular place to be. Prince George, interchangeably called the Capital of the North and the Gateway to the north, is the meeting place of the two great river systems of the Fraser and Nechako. Situated between the Rocky Mountains and the Coastal Mountains, its landscape features vast forested hills studded with lakes and signs of the powerful river system running through it.

Set in the heart of northern BC’s wild spaces and framed by three spectacular mountain ranges, Smithers BC is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and a mecca for visual and performing artists. The summer brings a flurry of musical activity: several high quality summer music programs including FiddleFest, Guitar Camp and the Orchestra North Summer Program with its Academy Residency, several large musical festivals such as the Midsummer Music Festival. The Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival brings dozens of high quality concerts to the community and attracts musicians and audiences from across Canada and beyond, and hosts performances of the Orchestra North Academy each year.


In Prince George, Academy musicians and TA's will be billeted with local families, if needed. Once in Smithers, Academy musicians are hosted in houses with beautiful views of the mountains, staying togther the other musicians of their stream. One of the residences is a historic log house in the downtown core, surrounded by gardens and apple trees, and within walking distance to amenities. The other house is a few minutes drive from town with gorgeous vistas and space to reflect and practice. For the most part, meals and related activities (shopping, cooking, cleaning) will be the responsibility of the individuals in each ensemble.


Orchestra North Summer Program has a close partnership with the annual Spirit of the North Classical Music Festival to showcase its musicians. See an overview of the latest festival edition at the button below:

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