Help us help the Canadian composers and musicians of tomorrow!

Education is a pillar of the VICO’s mandate. We are proud to inspire and support up-and-coming young composers and musicians in a number of ways: elementary school shows, free public presentations, workshops in intercultural composition, and more.

In 2017 we are launching a brand new educational program: the VICO Summer Academy, to be held for the first time from June 24-July 1 at Capilano University. Taking up the torch from the Atlas Academy in Amsterdam (hosted by our friends the Atlas Ensemble until last year), this week-long intensive has been carefully designed to foster the talents of composers and musicians who are interested in learning how to combine instruments, musical traditions, techniques and aesthetics from all over the world into a cohesive, artistically effective whole. The Academy faculty includes guest artists from Europe and the Middle East, as well as an impressive roster of Vancouver-based musicians/composers/educators. We can confidently say that there is nothing like this program being offered anywhere else in the Pacific Northwest; perhaps not even anywhere else in the world. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind opportunity for a lucky group of aspiring Canadian artists.

You can help! Your donation to The Elliot Weisgarber Scholarship Fund will help to cover 50% of tuition fees for deserving student participants in the 2017 VICO Summer Academy. (See below for details on how to donate, as well as more about Mr. Weisgarber and his connection to the VICO.)

The participants in this program will go on to create and perform the Canadian music of the future: music that is both rooted in ancient traditions and excitingly fresh to the ear; that draws from a brilliantly expanded sound palette with a broad and diverse spectrum of colours and rhythmic nuances; that demonstrates the power of artistic collaboration, and how it can transcend boundaries— cultural, geographical, political, historical.

We hope you will consider supporting this adventure; regardless, we thank you for your consideration.


– Online with a credit card via CanadaHelps

– By mail or in person with a cheque made payable to ‘VICO’, and referenced ‘Scholarship Fund’ (find our mailing address here, or come and see us at the reception table, at any VICO concert)


100% of funds raised will be put towards composition scholarships for VICO’s main educational programs. The Scholarship Fund will support participants in the VICO Summer Academy starting in June 2017 at Capilano University, and at VICO Sounds Global workshops beginning in January 2018. The awarding of scholarships will be based on need and merit, and will be adjudicated by the VICO artistic team.

The Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra (VICO) is a non-profit society and federally (Canadian) registered charity. All donors will receive tax receipts for the full amount of their donations. Donors will be acknowledged (according to their preference) on the VICO website and in relevant concert programmes.


The Elliot Weisgarber Composition Scholarship Fund is named in honour of the late Elliot Weisgarber (1919-2001), who was a pioneer in intercultural music explorations. An expanded version of the bio below can be found on the Canadian Music Centre website. About Elliot Weisgarber’s connection with VICO, it is via Mark Armanini – who was his student and has dedicated himself to arranging some of his compositions for VICO – and Moshe Denburg, to whom he was a friend and mentor for the last 10 years of his life. He also gave our work his blessing before he passed away. He understood that we were taking the next step in the evolution of intercultural composition and music making. His own western style work was informed by his experiences in other cultures, especially Japan. His compositions definitely reflect this, and he in fact wrote several pieces utilizing the actual traditional instruments of Japan.

Elliot Weisgarber was a composer, clarinetist, shakuhachi performer, and ethnomusicologist who served on the faculty of the University of British Columbia as a music professor from 1960 until his retirement in 1984. Weisgarber received his own education at the Eastman School of Music, where he earned both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees as well as the Performer’s Certificate in Clarinet. His composition teachers include Edward Royce, Bernard Rogers, Howard Hanson, Halsey Stevens and Nadia Boulanger. Before joining the faculty at UBC, Weisgarber served for 14 years on the faculty of the School of Music at the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC-Greensboro). His move to the West Coast nourished an already well-developed interest in Asian cultures, and he subsequently spent much time in Japan studying the classical music of that country, notably the shakuhachi (vertical bamboo flute). His deep knowledge of Japanese music was to permeate much of his own compositional style.