Classics On Stage Yellowknife is a registered non-profit organization that was founded in 2005 to support the classical musicians of Yellowknife by providing performance and educational opportunities to its members and to give concerts of classical music to the residents of Yellowknife. It averages about thirty paid up members consisting of classical music lovers, most of whom are amateur or professional musicians of all ages and abilities who enjoy making music together.
COSY has held one or more concerts each year for the last fourteen years and has performed in every venue in the city of Yellowknife that has a piano, including the Northern Arts and Cultural Centre, Northern United Place, Holy Trinity Anglican Church and Calvary Community Church. It has put on diverse variety of performances from free concerts consisting of a pot pourri of contributions from members relating to a theme, to major productions such as its very own opera, A Letter Home, written by founder, Amy Hendricks, or an orchestral production such as Peter and the Wolf.
See the Past Events page.
For over twelve years, COSY ran a series of free concerts in the Museum Café on the last Sunday afternoon of the month from September to June. These concerts are always well attended. The performers are members of COSY and students of members of COSY. This gives student musicians from beginners to advanced, young and old an opportunity to perform without auditioning in a supportive situation to an appreciative audience. Currently, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Music Sundays are now being temporarily broadcast on YouTube.
COSY supports music education in Yellowknife. It held chamber music summer camps open to children and adults for several years and founded the Yellowknife Music Festival in 2009. Until then there was no Music Festival in the NWT to serve music students young and old. The Festival now serves about six hundred participants each year and is organized entirely by volunteers. The YKMF was handed over to the NWT Music Teachers’ Association in 2017 after being jointly produced by the two organizations for a couple of years. As a member of the Alberta Music Festival Association, YKMF offers classes that lead to performance opportunities at the Alberta Provincial Music Festival and from there, eligibility for the Canadian National Music Festival.
COSY provides an opportunity for musicians new to town to meet and network with other musicians. It also collects and donates unwanted music to the City Library for other musicians to share.
In the early years COSY raised funds to provide a new piano for the use of the community. This piano was housed in the Museum Café for a number of years, where concerts are held by COSY every last Sunday afternoon of the month from September to June and for concerts given by choirs, individuals, piano teachers, other non-profit organizations including the Yellowknife Music Festival. It is now housed in the Anglican Church where COSY continues to pay for its maintenance. The church uses it for services and, in return, gives COSY and other classical musicians of Yellowknife access to the church to hold recitals, concerts and recitals when requested. The piano is also used from time to time by piano teachers.
From time to time COSY receives funding from government sources such as the NWT Arts Council which enables it to bring musicians to Yellowknife to participate in its concerts, supplementing local performers. When it does, the visitors are usually asked to offer workshops to the musicians of Yellowknife, private lessons and when appropriate, workshops in local schools.
Although as an organization COSY does not normally have the financial or human resources to act as an agent bringing professional performers to the city, nor does it consider it a part of its mandate to do so, thanks to the donation of an unexpected source of funds it was able to host guest performers Joachim Woitun and Anna Maria Baeza from New York in 2017. Sometimes COSY offers ‘in kind’ support to several musicians who will be visiting Yellowknife, by arranging publicity, providing billets or other hospitality.
COSY could not operate without many hard working volunteers. All its members volunteer their time to help run our events and our musicians do not charge for performing in its concerts. We have no paid staff.
Not for profit
Any proceeds we may accrue from concerts go to support our Music at the Museum program, educational projects and workshops, the maintenance of the piano, and to help to defray our operating costs.