Media Centre

Welcome to our Media Centre,

This center was created to provide important information about the Victoria Conservatory of Music. Reporters, producers, editors and bloggers, either online, print or broadcast, will find news releases and media advisories from our organization here.  You will also find news and information on joint initiatives with our many VCM partners.

This center is here to help you with your stories and make it as easy as we can for you.

The VCM delivers an exceptional musical experience whether it be learning, performing, composing, music therapy, music technology or audio engineering.

If you are an editor, producer, anchor, or reporter, please contact:

Tereza Anderson
Director of Marketing
P: 250.386.5311

Sandra Hudson
PR & Marketing

Victoria Conservatory of Music – Media Gallery


2018-19 News

Classical Music VCM Summer Concert series starts Saturday

Joy of Life fest is labour of love for Daniel Lapp

House Beautiful: A ship-shape seaside garden

Musical Joy emerges from fiddling and singing

Classical Music: New Orford String Quartet plays Beethoven, Brahms 

A big concert featuring an Oak Bay High School student

SoundCHEK: Faculty members at the Victoria Conservatory of Music continue with the rich tradition of Chamber music

Daniel Lapp has a full house for Christmas

Our Community: Helping kids find the joy of song

Victoria Conservatory of Music series opens doors for faculty

Victoria Conservatory of Music’s founding faculty feature in Sunday’s concert

2016 News

Chek TV shares our 2016 Open House Party with their viewers.


Past News Links

Janina Fialkowska performs as part of VCM Presents.

VCM talks about our West Shore expansion with Chek News.

Conservatory opens second location in West Shore – Great coverage in the Times Colonist.

Victoria Conservatory of Music – 50th Anniversary Campaign in Times Colonist Read or download in PDF format: Times Colonist 50th Campaign

Ballet Victoria teams up with music school

VCM Dean Stephen Green on CFAX 1070 w/ Al Ferraby – Jan 22, 2015 VCM Dean Stephen Green on CFAX 1070 Radio w/ Frank Stanford.

Donation hits right musical note – Victoria News

Young violinist, 15, has promising future

Sidney Classical Orchestra season begins with Mostly Mozart

Generosity of Spirit Award, presented by the United Way of Greater Victoria to Ed Chwyl and Family

Philanthropists – young and old – honored

Concerts celebrate Canada Music Week The Victoria Conservatory of Music is celebrating Canada Music Week with free concerts and workshops all week.

Stradivari Stars at Conservatory Benefit Concert in Victoria

Stradivari stars at Conservatory benefit concert in Victoria – See more at:
Stradivari stars at Conservatory benefit concert in Victoria – See more at:
Stradivari stars at Conservatory benefit concert in Victoria – See more at:

Greater Victoria charities partner with

Beethoven’s Masterworks on Program – Sooke News Mirror

Stephen Brown’s ‘Lady in the East’ review in Gramophone Magazine – PDF Stephen Brown-Gramophone article Sept 2014

Keaton Ollech: Saanich teen pianist heads to provincial competition – Saanich News

Hospital patients can record their own songs with mobile studio – Vancouver Sun

Victoria Conservatory bash celebrates the power of music — Oxygen

Check out Boulevard Magazine’s ‘Front Row’ story on our Jubilee Faculty Concert I Jubilee Faculty Concert I Publicity – PDF

Year Long Jubilee Celebration – Times Colonist Arts Guide

The magic of music The Victoria Conservatory of Music brings benefits of musical education to families of all income levels

VCM Faculty and Young Student Featured for Victoria’s Splash Event

VCM Student, 9-Year old Erik Lin Chosen as Solo Pianist for Splash

Times Colonist 50 Years of the Victoria Conservatory of Music

CTV Vancouver Island shares our new initiatives including the new School of Contemporary Music.

Daniel Lapp – New VCM Artistic Director of the School of Contemporary Music

Gregor Craigie CBC radio interview with VCM CEO Jane Butler McGregor and Dean Stephen Green

VCM Promotional video shot by CTV Vancouver Island.

Times Colonist: Victoria inventor and pianist Ann Makosinski, age 16, has received a scholarship from the Victoria Conservatory of Music in recognition of her ingenuity, creativity and resourcefulness.

Monday Magazine VCM students performing Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival

Times Colonist Impress Mom with a Day of Gardens

Victoria News Gardens and Music make a Unique Mother’s Day

Times Colonist Camosun College Fends Off Cuts to Key Programs – VCM Post-Secondary Music

Campbell River Mirror May Ling Kwok has been acclaimed as “one of the most musical and sensitive Canadian pianists.”

Times Colonist Timeless Music On The Palate

Times Colonist Mother’s Day Garden Tour

Times Colonist Don’t take the music away from Camosun©

EAT Magazine 7th Uncork Your Palate Takes Place April 30

Times Colonist Tasting: A Sneak Peek at a Musical Wine Tasting

Times Colonist Keep The Music Playing At Camosun College — Roy Cullen

Cowichan Newsleader Former student honours icon in organ recital – Nicolas Fairbank

Boulevard Magazine Secrets and Lives – Stephen Green

Times Colonist Vital People: Young performers to take stage at Victoria festival

Music education key in professional achievement – Leslie Brown

Boulevard Magazine Secrets and Lives – Stephen Green

Camosun music students concerned about proposed budgets cuts, future of program – See more at:

Feature article appeared in Times Colonist for VCM Opera Studio Gender Bender Performance in Kevin Bazzana Classical Column Victoria Opera Companies Push The Envelope found here:;

Times Colonist included an editorial “Join the celebrations as the Year of the Horse Arrives” found here:

Recorded CBC Radio One interview PSA announcement for Harmonious Celebration and VCM’s upcoming 50th anniversary on Jan 24, for All Points West. The Victoria News story “Ring in Chinese New Year early in Victoria found here:

Feature article appeared in Boulevard Magazine, ‘Playing An Older Tune’; included an interview with VCM Dean, Stephen Green

Featured Music Therapy Program Segment on CTV’s Television “I Love This Island”, with an interview with VCM’s Dr. Johanne Brodeur.


Thank you for your interest in the VCM! Here you’ll find supporting information about the VCM to help with your stories.  If you scroll through, click or download here you’ll find facts, history and new things going on you may want to write about or report on.   Please call or email with any questions; it’s our privilege to provide any additional information you may need.

Victoria Conservatory of Music History

VCM Fact Sheet

The Victoria Conservatory of Music actively engages and works with local, national and international media to educate and inspire audiences with behind-the-scenes access to our school and events.

Photos will be re-uploaded soon.


Here’s what people are saying about us!

Student/Parent Collegium

“2013-2014 was such a rewarding year for Jessica, I can’t express how much she loves being a part of such a fantastic program.  She truly feels at home at the Conservatory.”
Parent, Jenny Schmidt

VCM Sponsor

“The 50th Jubilee Alumni concert showed how important and significant music and the Conservatory’s commitment are to this city. Congratulations on an incredible event.” Rich Leboudec, CTV Producer, Vancouver Island/Bell Media Inc.

VCM Community/Government

“The work of the Conservatory in the City of Victoria for the last 50 years has enriched the lives of the city and its citizens and will continue to do so long into the future.”
Lisa Helps, Victoria Councilor

Student Scholarship Recipient

“Ann considered it a great honour to have been given the award and we were [very] excited as well. Thanks again to you, VCM, especially to Mr. Green.” Parent, Sandra Makosinski

Parent of Orff Program student

Alix Goolden Performance Hall – Performer

“A jewel box of a building.” Emmylou Harris, 2013

VCM Music Mom

I Love Victoria Conservatory of Music because…
When I take my kids for lessons we really feel like we are part of a world of music that is bigger than ourselves. When I wait in the hall it sounds like an orchestra tuning up as the notes from violin, piano and cello lessons all blend together. Wonderful!

VCM Alum Bronwyn Kure message to her Theory teacher Stephen Brown

Hi Mr. Brown!
I just wanted to say thank you for being an amazing teacher!
I took the theory placement exam here at the Peabody Institute at the beginning of the year and was transferred into third semester harmony! Because of that I only have to stay here in Baltimore for minimum two years. The head of the Theory department said that they haven’t let anyone transfer past first year theory in 25 years and that he wanted me to express to you the respect he has for your teaching skills. Thank you so much! I really miss being a part of your class. It was such a great experience!



Baritone Andrew Erasmus is fast establishing himself as an outstanding young singer and performer. He is currently a voice student at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, a member of the Advanced Voice Workshop and studying under Ingrid Attrot and Nancy Argenta.

His operatic credits include two world premieres, including Gavin Bryars’ Marilyn Forever Andrew Erasmus VCM Voice Studentwith Aventa Ensemble, as well as the role of George Stoner in Tobin Stokes’ Rattenbury: The Opera starring Richard Margison. He has had a long association with Pacific Opera Victoria where he first appeared as the Shepherd Boy in Tosca and as a member of the chorus since 2008, he has performed a number of comprimario roles inlcuding Antonio in Le Nozze di Figaro, the Lackey in Ariadne auf Naxos, the Apparition in Macbeth and the Jailor in Tosca. In concert he has recently appeared as a soloist in Bach’s Magnificat as the part of the McPherson and Royal Theatre Centenial Celebrations, in Monteverdi’s Vespers with the Victoria Philharmonic Choir and Bach’s St. John Passion with the Victoria Baroque Players. He has been the recipient of many voice scholarships and awards including the VCM Margaret Abbott Memorial Scholarship for English Song and the 2013 Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival Ethel James Rose Bowl Award for most outstanding singer.

This past summer he was a participant in both the VCM Summer Vocal Academy – Oratorio Program featured in Handel’s Athalia and Bach’s Cantata BWV 82 and The Voice Program at the Philharmonia Hungary Early Music Days at the Esterházy Palace. His upcoming performances include the Imperial Commissioner in the spring POV production of Madame Butterfly.


Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Collegium
2014’S Don Chrysler Competition Winner

17-year old Masahiro has been playing piano for 11 years; he started at the age of 6. He Screen shot 2014-10-16 at 3.11.10 PMparticipated in Prayner Konservatorium: Vienna Young Pianists International Piano Festival at the age of 13.  He arrived in Canada from Japan in March 2012 to attend Victoria High School and study with Victoria Conservatory of Music’s, renowned faculty member, May Ling Kwok.  He was a member of our VCM Collegium program for two years.

Masahiro participated in the Don Chrysler Concerto Competition and wowed the audience at the Philip T. Young Recital Hall on Saturday, April 26th.  He was chosen as the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra October soloist, performing Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto No.5.
Masahiro will be leaving the VCM at the end of the first term to return to the Japanese education system with hopes to pursue a career in jazz and technical music.  We are proud to share his success story.  Everyone at the VCM will miss his sunny personality, his skateboard under his arm and his excellent musicianship. We wish him an extraordinary future.



Jacob, age 16, is an accomplished Viola player entering the international music scene. He Jacobis a student at the Victoria Conservatory of Music studying with his father, Michael van der Sloot. He is currently enrolled as a member of the Collegium Program for Gifted Youth and principal of both the Victoria Conservatory of Music Senior String Orchestra and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra. Jacob loves chamber music and received first place
with his group at the British Columbia Music Festival for the past three years. In addition, his chamber group tied first place at the VCM Chamber Music Competition the past two years.

Jacob has enjoyed the experience of soloing with various orchestras on five separate occasions over the past two years. In the summers of 2011 and 2012, Jacob attended the Young Artists Program at the National Arts Center in Ottawa. In 2013, Jacob attended the Perlman Music Program in New York with maestro Itzhak Perlman. With the Perlman Music Program, Jacob also performed in the opening concert of Bing Hall at Stanford University and he travelled to Israel recently for a three week program in Tel Aviv. Only 18 students were chosen from a group of 40 students from ten different countries that attended the Perlman Music Program in New York last summer. Jacob is presently the only Canadian student part of PMP. He will return to New York this summer for another
seven weeks in the Perlman Music Program.



Ari was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) which leaves him with very limited Ari_Kinarthy_circlemobility, such that he has been in a wheelchair since age six. Yet as a student of the VCM’s Music Therapy Program for seven years, he is able to perform his original compositions by utilizing the Soundbeam – an award-winning “touch free” device which uses sensor technology to translate movements into music and sound.”

Last June Ari won Soundbeam UK’s 25th Anniversary International Competition, for his composition entitled “Pain Emotion”. His experience with music has transformed his life and has been the source of inspiration for others which he believes is his purpose.

“This makes me feel like I can contribute to making people happy, when they like my music. That’s the biggest thing” he said in an interview with the Times Colonist in 2012. “I love to create things, the joy of creation is really what inspires me . . . I never thought at the beginning that this would be a potential profession for me, but I do consider myself a composer and professional musician now.”


Bronwyn Kure is an incredibly talented VCM Alum who is now excelling at the Peabody Bronwyn-Kure-Peabody_webInstitute. The following is a wonderful message Bronwyn sent to her VCM Theory teacher Stephen Brown.

Hi Mr. Brown!
I just wanted to say thank you for being an amazing teacher!
I took the theory placement exam here at the Peabody Institute at the beginning of the year and was transferred into third semester harmony! Because of that I only have to stay here in Baltimore for minimum two years. The head of the Theory department said that they haven’t let anyone transfer past first year theory in 25 years and that he wanted me to express to you the respect he has for your teaching skills. Thank you so much! I really miss being a part of your class. It was such a great experience!


The VCM congratulates Ryan Howland who has made it into one of the big European Violin Competitions, The Boris Goldstein International Violin Competition. Ryan has been playing the violin for 10 years now. It all started when his mother was working as a piano teacher at the Conservatory. For the past year, Howland has Ryan Howland VCM_webbeen going back and forth to Interlaken, Switzerland to take masterclasses with Zakhar Bron, a premier violin teacher in Europe.

“All along the way, we’ve really focused on being goal-oriented and striving to get to the next level,” said Michael van der Sloot. “Because of [Ryan]‘s work ethic, he was able to progress through these goals.”



Born and Raised in Victoria, British Columbia, Rae started playing violin at the age of six. Rae Gallimore webIn the autumn of 2012, she began her studies of the viola. Currently, Rae is studying with Michael van der Sloot. She has also had the privilege to have lessons with Gerald Stanick, Barbara Westphal, Martha Strongin Kadz, Karen Dreyfus, Jeffery Irvine, Samuel Rhodes, Teng Li and Roberto Diaz. She is a current member of the Victoria Conservatory of Music Collegium Program and the VCM Senior Strings Orchestra. For two consecutive years, Rae’s chamber group was awarded 1st place in the Victoria Conservatory Chamber Music Competition as well as placing first place in the Senior Chamber Ensemble in 2013 and 2014’s Provincial Performing Art’s Festival. This past spring, Rae placed second in the Don Chrysler Concerto Competition. She has played solo with the VCM Orchestra, the Sidney Classical Orchestra and will be soloing this fall with the Sooke Philharmonic Chamber Players. During the summer of 2013, Rae took part in Mount Royal University’s Morningside Music Bridge program in Calgary, Alberta and this past summer, Rae attended the Heifetz Summer Music Institute held in Staunton, Virginia. Rae is currently finishing her final year at Camosun College for a Diploma in Viola Music Performance.


Fifteen-year-old Keaton Ollech has been enjoying the piano and working with SN-KeatonOllech-web2
May Ling Kwok since he was eight years old. In 2014 Keaton won the Mary Adamson Young Artist competition for Vancouver Island. The win sent him to the Provincial Championships with the hopes of moving on to Nationals.

“He is an exceptional boy and student, a pleasure to work with,” said Kwok, who’s been at the Victoria Conservatory of Music for 30 years. “It’s a lot of commitment, hard work and dedication to do what he’s done.”



Welcome to our VCM FACT SHEET

The Victoria Conservatory of Music (VCM) was founded in 1964 with only 8 students.  Please visit our VCM history page for relevant and interesting historical information.

What:  One of the largest and most-respected music schools in North America offering world-class instruction.

Location:  We enjoy two beautiful locations, one in downtown Victoria and our satellite location in Langford. British Columbia, Canada.

The VCM is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off Canada’s Pacific coast boasting the mildest climate in Canada year around.

900 Johnson Street
Victoria, British Columbia V8V 3N4

210 – 1314 – Lakepoint Way

Faculty:  The VCM is home to more than 140 faculty members; many VCM instructors are award-winning and widely recognized around the world.

Students:  In 2014 the VCM is proud to serve 4300 students of all ages and abilities.

Programs:  VCM offers programming in all musical genres and most instruments including piano, strings, brass, woodwinds, voice, jazz, percussion, theory, composition and therapy.

  • The School: The VCM consists of;
  • Community School
  • Conservatory School of Classical Music
  • Post-Secondary School
  • Children’s Outreach
  • Music Therapy
  • School of Contemporary Music
  • School of Music Technology and Creativity

Toll Free: 1-866-386-5311
Downtown: 250-385-5311
Langford: 778-265-5355

Victoria Conservatory of Music History

Beginning in 1964 with only 8 students in its first classroom, the original Victoria School of Music has since accelerated its growth for 50 remarkable years.

The Victoria School of Music began with a small group of visionaries and music lovers, initiated by Mrs. Alix Goolden, to establish a school of music for the whole community with a primary purpose of developing musicians for regional orchestras. Robin Wood, hired as principal and he and his wife Winifred Scott Wood, both acclaimed pianists, left their flourishing careers in London at the Royal Academy of Music, to help build the fledgling conservatory.  These, and other generous people, raised $30,000 to open the school.  The school was incorporated May 13, 1964.

Today, no longer the Victoria School of Music but the Victoria Conservatory of Music, is one of North America’s most advanced music schools.   It is home to more than 130 faculty members and 4300 participants of all ages and abilities in its community school, post-secondary school, children’s outreach and music therapy program. The VCM is a non-profit organization and is still located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

The daughters of Mrs. Alix Goolden, Ann Nation and Gillian Nelles are still genuinely committed to the well being of the VCM today.   In 1969, Craigdarroch Castle became the Conservatory’s new home. Fifty years after its inception the thriving musical community at the VCM can be found at 900 Johnson St tucked in behind the beautiful Alix Goolden Performance Hall.

Today the Victoria Conservatory of Music, also known as “VCM” is home to some the most accomplished and renowned alumni in the world. 39% of the Victoria Symphony are VCM faculty or alumni, and the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra is consistently comprised of 45% current, or past students of the VCM. VCM Artistic Directorates are passionate educators, respected artists and performers in our community, across Canada and internationally.  Students come from all over the world to learn from these renowned and respected instructors.

The VCM currently reaches 800 young children in 37 different locations through the VCM Children’s Music Education and Outreach Program. Its Community School programming is the core of VCM – it delivers training to 1900 students of all ages and abilities in every musical discipline. In partnership with Camosun College, VCM Post-Secondary School offers two full-time 2-year diploma programs for students who want to pursue a professional career in music. The VCM’s Summer Academy offers intensive programs, workshops, and classes for voice, piano, strings, theory and children’s music. The VCM’s Collegium Program is for gifted young musicians who want to study music at the highest standard in a comprehensive environment.