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Welcome to the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute (CVAI)

The Canadian Vocal Arts Institute (CVAI) offers a high caliber training for the best emerging Canadian and international singers every summer in Montreal (Canada). At the same time, it presents a diverse and captivating program as part of the Montreal Vocal Arts Festival happening at the same time.

The CVAI also trains pianists and conductors.

The registration period for summer 2024 closes on April 5.

The academy will be held from July 17 to August 11, 2024, at the Université de Montréal's Faculty of Music.

Our Mission

The Canadian Vocal Arts Institute is a non-profit organization with a dual mandate: to provide high-calibre training to the best emerging Canadian and international singers and to present to the public a varied and captivating program of some twenty concerts, presented by the Montreal Vocal Arts Festival every summer.

Our Vision

The CVAI curriculum is designed for singers, pianists & conductors of all levels and will be tailored to the individual needs of each participant. The young artists selected for the CVAI will gain valuable stage experience, perfect their audition techniques, and increase their knowledge of the practical aspects of an operatic career. ​


During the four-week program, they will have the opportunity to attend numerous private singing lessons, coaching and seminars focusing on vocal technique, career preparation, stage acting and diction. Everyone will have the opportunity to perform in numerous concerts, in a public masterclass or in the opera production. Our young artists will leave the program with the necessary promotional material : a video demo recording, a professional headshot and revised CV and multilingual biographies.

Our History

The Canadian Vocal Arts Institute (CVAI) was founded in February 2004 by a group of individuals, led by Joan Dornemann, Paul Nadler and Jacqueline Desmarais, with the development of the careers of young vocalists at heart, as well as the positioning of opera and Montréal on the international vocal arts scene. The Canadian Vocal Arts Institute (CVAI) has been going strong every year since 2004. The workshops were initially organized in collaboration with the International Vocal Arts Institute (IVAI), the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for young Canadian opera singers and the music faculty of the University of Montreal.

Since 2018 we are now totally independent from IVAI which has since stopped offering regular summer programs. The primary goal of the Institute is to hold an annual international advanced training course for young singers in Montreal. We have recently welcomed a new directing team led by Executive Director Marc-Antoine d'Aragon and co-Artistic Directors Nicole Car & Étienne Dupuis.

They bring a new vision to give our participants all the tools necessary to access the career and permit a greater reach to welcome Europeans participants & coaching staff. For the first time in 2023, we will also welcome young aspiring opera pianists and conductors. 



Our partners

Each year, we are able to offer a quality intensive course thanks to our generous partners who tirelessly support us in our mission to promote young operatic talents.

Merle and Bernard Stotland Family Foundation

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Howard & Vivian Stotland

Morrie & Evie Neiss

Jacques Marchand & Marie-Christine Tremblay

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