The Elora Festival
9 Mill St. East Elora ON N0B 1S0
Contact: 519-846-0331 or

Who Are We?

The Elora Festival

In the summer of 1979, Professor Michael Purves-Smith fell in love with the beautiful village of Elora and dreamed of establishing a festival of music there fashioned after the world-renowned Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts. A small group of like-minded residents, including music student Noel Edison, shared his vision and pooled their efforts to present the first Three Centuries Festival the following August. The critics were generous in their praise – the inaugural Festival was a hit! The annual Festival continued to grow in stature and fame; the refining of its mission and name along the way resulted in the establishment of the Elora Festival in 1990.

Over the years, the programming of the Elora Festival has encompassed all forms of classical music, jazz and folk. The guest musicians, conductors, singers, entertainers, and artists who have appeared at the Elora Festival over its 37 years of making beautiful music include such popular Canadian luminaries as Maureen Forrester, Holly Cole, Sarah McLachlan, Moe Kaufman, Dame Cleo Laine, Jesse Cook, Buffy Sainte-Maire, Andre Laplante, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Dawn Upshaw, Randy Bachman, Ben Heppner, Steven Page and many more.

Artistic Director: Noel Edison

Noel Edison- credit Sophie Hogan 2014
Noel Edison is well established as one of the most versatile and charismatic conductors in the world today. As the conductor and artistic director of two world-class Canadian ensembles, the large-scale Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the chamber-sized Elora Festival Singers, Edison is widely recognised and appreciated for his skillful, interpretive work with both choir and orchestra. Twenty members of the Elora Festival Singers serve as the professional core of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.

A native of Toronto, Edison moved to the scenic village of Elora, where, in 1979, he co-founded the Elora Festival and, a year later, the Elora Festival Singers as its choir-in-residence. Since 1984, Edison has served as Artistic Director of the Elora Festival as well as Organist and Choirmaster of one of the few all-professional church choirs in Canada at the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Elora. In 1988, he established the Elora Festival Orchestra.

In 2002 the University of Guelph conferred upon Noel the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music, and on January 22, 2009, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario, the province’s highest honour.

2016/2017 The Elora Singers

Lesley Bouza
Katy Clark
Rebecca Genge
Lindsay McIntyre
Teresa Mahon
Julia Morson
Kate Wright
Julia Barber
Kirsten Fielding
Valeria Kondrashov
Nellie Scholtes
Christina Stelmacovich

Chris Fischer
Bryan Rankine
Steve Surian
Steve Szmutni
Andrew Walker
James Bourne
Michael Cressman
Jeff Enns
Paul Grambo
Richard Hrytzak
Lawrie McEwan

2016/2017 – Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, EFS professional core

Lesley Bouza
Joanne Chapin
Lindsay McIntyre
Teresa Mahon
Julia Morson
Kate Wright
Julia Barber
Kirsten Fielding
Charlotte Hodgkins
Claudia Lemcke

Nicholas Gough
Valdis Jevtejevs
Robert Kinar
Steve Szmutni
Andrew Walker
Jordon Collalto
Lawrie McEwan
Marc Michalak
Jordan Scholl
David Yung


Noel Edison O. Ont., B. Mus., D. Mus, Artistic Director
Christopher Sharpe, General Manager–  x 7412
Esther Farrell, Elora Singers’ Manager & Librarian —  x 7411
Jared Davison, Marketing & Communications —  x 7413
Kate Hoad-Reddick, Senior Staff Assistant
Jane Rapp, Volunteer Coordinator   x 7414
Trisha Lee, Bookkeeper —  x 7410
Jordon Kehoe, Production Manager

Board of Directors

John Spearn, Chair
Kevin Embree, Treasurer
Charlotte Logan, Secretary
Bonnie Cooper
Kate Stanley
Duncan Hossack
Trace Molson
Laura Robertson
Jim Pernfuss

The Elora Festival & Singers are sponsored in part by:

SoundCloud YouTube Pinterest Twitter Facebook