May 16, 2020: WCAMS Virtual Camp 2020, July 19-26
I hope you're all well, and finding some way to keep up your musical interests.
I thank you for the messages of support I received after announcing that the Board decided that camp had to be cancelled.
It was indeed a hard decision to make, but ultimately it was the only one possible.
Fortunately, modern technology provides new ways to explore music together, and we're pressing ahead with plans for
"WCAMS Virtual Camp 2020". I've already received expressions of interest from both faculty and WCAMS members, and I'd
like to update you about what might be possible.
Geordie is writing a song for the camp, which will be performed by a virtual choir of as many members and faculty as would
like to take part. The score and rehearsal audio tracks will be available a few weeks before camp, and Geordie will be
giving one or two virtual rehearsals for the work during the camp week (still July 19-26). Soon after camp week is over,
choristers should make a video of themselves singing the song, and Kevin Klop will be compiling the individual recordings
into a commemorative WCAMS camp video.
Geordie has also offered to run an online "Collaborative music class" - and for vocalists who can't physically get together
with their accompanist, he'll record and send them a piano accompaniment to sing along with.
Trish has several ideas about choral activities that can be done online, and Amy is also keen - more details to follow if
there's any interest from you.
Several instrumental faculty would like to run virtual "Onlys" classes. Obviously the ensemble work that's a large part
of some of these classes won't be possible, unless someone from the group would like to organize a virtual performance
(with all the editing of individual videos that would involve!).
However, with judicious use of mute buttons, faculty seem optimistic that other sections of the class could work well.
Depending on how much the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it may be possible to run some chamber groups, but this would
require all members of the group to be in one location, with the coach connecting via Zoom (or whatever platform is preferred).
Of course, this will only work if all members of the group live close together - but it's an option that the faculty would
enjoy if there are any groups interested.
As you'll see, plans are still rather vague, but please let me know
(email@example.com) if you might like to join an "Onlys" class,
a chamber group, or one of the choral sessions. There will be no charge for any of the virtual camp activities, but as we
intend to pay the faculty, donations are welcome. All participants must be WCAMS members, so if you haven't yet renewed
your membership this year, please do so by completing the form on our
Membership Page, or by sending your $25 membership fee
via interac to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Irene Percival (on behalf the WCAMS Board)
April 19, 2020: WCAMS 2020 camp is cancelled
With considerable regret, the WCAMS Board has decided to cancel the 2020 WCAMS
music camp in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While the situation appears to
be improving in British Columbia and some camp activities (e.g., chamber music) would
likely have been possible, it is far from clear when large ensembles (especially choirs)
would be advisable.
Although we could have continued to wait to see how the upcoming relaxation of
physical distancing measures unfolded, we decided that it was important to make a decision
now - rather than postponing what might be an inevitable cancellation anyway - in order
that WCAMS members have the certainty they need to make plans; we know that this is
especially important for our members who live outside of British Columbia.
We're hoping that we can still offer a few ways for our members to connect in July.
We're exploring the possibility of having some faculty members teach an online master class,
or any other aspects of the "Onlys" classes that would work online. Chamber groups may
also work if all members can be physically in one location. It might also be fun to create
a virtual choir or instrumental ensemble as a souvenir of "Online Camp COVID".
If you'd be interested in either participating in an online class or producing or
contributing to a musical souvenir, please let me know
Other suggestions are also welcome.
In the Fall, our Westmuse newsletter will be devoted to your stories of "How you
coped musically during COVID-19". WCAMS members are very creative, so this will
definitely be something to look forward to. Please send your submissions throughout the
summer to email@example.com.
For those who have already made payments towards camp, you will be refunded all monies
paid less the membership fee.
We encourage those who have not yet made payments and those who had not registered for camp
to pay your annual membership fee so that you can continue to receive membership benefits
such as notices of the AGM and the camp 2021 opening date, as well as Bits&Bytes,
Westmuse News and other WCAMS benefits.
You can pay your membership fee by Interac (sending $25 to
firstname.lastname@example.org) or by mailing a cheque with the membership
form found on the
WCAMS web site.
We will be holding our annual AGM in July as usual and would love to see you there.
We don't yet know whether this will have to take place online or if COVID-19 restrictions
will have been lifted enough to allow people to meet face-to-face - maybe it will be a
mixture of the two!
We thank you for your patience and understanding during the past few months, and look
forward to meeting you all again in 2021.
Irene Percival (on behalf the WCAMS Board)
March 28, 2020: Message from the President
I'd like to address the concerns of several campers who have questioned the
responsibility of holding a public event this summer in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Let me first assure you that we would never hold a camp at a time when public health officials
recommend against large gatherings. However, planning for the WCAMS camp started long before
Christmas: a contract has already been signed with Quest, and faculty have been chosen.
Fortunately, the Quest contract can be cancelled with minimal penalty until June 2nd, so there
is plenty of time for us to wait and see how the pandemic progresses and what advice public
health officials provide closer to July. In the event that the pandemic is contained within
Canada as quickly as it appears that it was contained within China, we would prefer not to have
cancelled the 2020 camp unnecessarily.
We appreciate that the need for physical distancing may make you nervous about registering for camp.
Rest assured that if camp is cancelled, you will be returned all monies paid (except for the
membership fee). Furthermore, we are making allowances for delays in paying the deposit until we
have a clearer idea if camp will go ahead. Of course, if you have applied and still wish to
withdraw your registration, please contact our registrar (Veronica Roenitz, email@example.com).
The WCAMS Board will be meeting in April to discuss this issue, and I will keep you informed
of any future developments. Meanwhile, stay safe, and use some of your 'physical distancing'
time to keep practising – music will help keep us sane over these difficult times.
March 13, 2020
We are aware that some people may be holding back applying to camp, waiting to see how the
situation develops with COVID-19.
If the summer music camp is cancelled for any reason, campers will be refunded all monies
paid (less the membership fee). In addition, while our usual policy is that campers' deposits
are not refundable, in the event that camp goes ahead, anyone unable to attend due to a government
quarantine or isolation order will also receive a full refund (less membership fee).