Cantares Venezuelan Cultural Foundation
The Choir history
The holiday season of 2010 was the debuting time for Cantares. They performed at: the Calgary Carol Christmas Fest 2010; community concert at the First Baptist Church; Christmas Dinner of the Venezuelan Canadian Association of Calgary (VCAC); and the Canadian Latin-American Chamber of Commerce.
In 2011, the Choir:
- accompanied Venezuelan musician, Ilan Chester (2010 Latin Grammy winner), in his concert at the Boyce Theatre, Calgary (below).
- obtained its first gold medal in the Alberta Choralfest South, 2011; and
- returned to both the Calgary Carol Festival 2011 and the VCAC’s Christmas Dinner.
Cantares rehearsing with Ilan Chester, February 2011
In 2012, the Choir was invited as an official participant to the XV International Choral Kathaumixw (held in July in Powell River, BC) to compete in the Folk & Cultural Traditions category, thus fulfilling the Choir's mission for promoting the diffusion of Latin-American culture through musical expressions. Also, in coordination with the Foundation, Cantares organized and performed at its 1st Christmas Charity Concert with Family and Friends.
In March 2013, Cantares returns to Alberta ChoralFest South. The same year in October the Choir participates with renowned Venezuelan group El Cuarteto (below) in the First edition of Venezuelan Culture Days, a special event co-organized by the Foundation and the Venezuelan Canadian Association in Calgary to continue fulfilling its mission of disseminating culture within Calgary and Alberta.
2014 was a busy yet rewarding year, we hosted our 2nd Let's Sing Together: A tribute to Simon Diaz; at the VCD gala concert; received and hosted musician ensemble C4 trio (Latin Grammy Award 2014 for best engineered album); and coordinated our 3rd Christmas Charity Concert.
In March 2015, the Choir gave a golden performance at the Alberta Choralfest South. Also, this year Cantares celebrated its Fifth anniversary and; so, the Foundation planned several special events.
For our traditional Let's Sing Together (May 2015) we invited renowned Venezuelan Choir Conductor Raul Delgado Estevez (1946-2019) to perform a special reppertoire: "A Journey to Latin-America". Also as guests artists we had Calgary Zhi-Yin Choir (Conductor: Shana Yang) and Spiritus Chamber Choir (Conductor: Timothy Shantz).
In September 2015 we hosted the Gala Concert for Venezuelan Culture Days and presented a prestigious Venezuelan ensemble with Eddy Marcano (violin), Hector Molina (cuatro), Manuel Rangel (maracas) and Edwin Arellano (bass).
At the Alberta Choralfest South, in March 2016, the choir obtained its first Platinum score for interpreting: Cantares, Polo Margariteño, Crece desde el pie, and Moliendo Café. This year, in September, the Venezuelan Culture Days has the pleasure to host renowned percussionist Willy Mayo.
In 2017, the choir performed its first Let's Sing Together on the Road taking its music to several venues in Calgary. As usual, the choir hosted the Gala Concert for the VCD and shared stage with special invitees: Jorge Glem's ensemble (Pablo Bencid - battery and Rodner Padilla - bass).
Year 2018 was a very active one, since the choir started its fundrasing campaing to attend the Unisong Festival 2019 in Ottawa for Canada day celebrations. A gold medal was received for the choir performance in the Alberta Choralfest South.
In June 2019 the choir travelled to Ottawa for participating in Canada Day Celebrations as part of the Unisong Choir 2019. Also performed in a private concert at the National Art Gallery.
"Thank you for sharing your wonderful music with us. A pure joy"
Dr. Robert Filion at the Alberta Choralfest South, March 2015