PODIUM is a Canadian festival and conference about choral singing co-presented by Choral Canada and Choirs Ontario. The event is bilingual (French and English) and occurs every two years in a different city in Canada. It is attended mostly by composers, choir directors and singers. This year, PODIUM 2022 was in Toronto, from May 19th to May 23rd. It was a very lively and interesting event, allowing networking and interesting conversations about many topics.
I was involved in two aspects of the event. First of all the organizers asked me to assess the accessibility of the different venues of the festival in order to create accessibility guides for visitors with disabilities. Eight different guides were created, in French and in English, giving all kinds of details about the accessibility of the performance venues and the conference venue in Downtown Toronto.
I was also selected to give a presentation about the accessibility of choirs and orchestras, here focused on singers. It was entirely bilingual. It contained advice on what to consider when the choir opens up to singers with disabilities, in the optic of breaking the assumptions that it is difficult. I also gave illustrations of real cases that can be encountered, and ideas to solve these issues. After the presentation, there was a Q&A that allowed the audience to not only ask questions but also share their own stories of challenges and victories regarding accessibility in choirs. It was a very interesting exchange.
This presentation was recorded but the content is private for now. I will probably be able to share the video in the future.
The next PODIUM conference will be held in Montreal in 2024.