2020-2021 Season

Archival and brand new contemporary music content online.

And a lot of rescheduled live concerts! 


GS 1: Not Seeing is a Flower—Leanne Zacharias
(rescheduled for October 22, 2021)

Watch the Curator Conversation—interview with guest curator Leanne Zachariasfor more details.

GS 2: Quatuor Bozzini
 (rescheduled for March 22, 2022)

Watch the Curator Conversation—interview with curator Jim Hiscottfor more details.

GS 3: Interspecies Smalltalk—Behrman & Schrey

Watch the Curator Conversation—interview with guest curator crys colefor more details.

GS 4: Trio Exchange
May 16, 2021
8PM @ Muriel Richardson Auditorium, Winnipeg Art Gallery
Curated by Michael Matthews

GS 5:
 Standing Wave Ensemble: Refractions
(scheduled for October 18, 2022)
730PM @ Muriel Richardson Auditorium, Winnipeg Art Gallery

Curated by Gordon Fitzel


Co-presentations with the Winnipeg Film Group’s Cinematéque Theatre and send + receive: a festival of sound, the biennial Emerging Composers’ Competition (electroacoustic edition). Continuation of our dis/Organized Sound SeriesGroundFloor Concerts, and Radio Sandbox. Other projects in the works include: a collaboration with the Winnipeg Classroom Guitar Society & the Winnipeg Classical Guitar Society; a creative band project with educator Steve Denby at JH Bruns Collegiate and composer Peter Meechan; and a collaboration with Flipside Opera highlighting the famous Manitoban, “Bloody Jack” Krafchenko.

POSTPONED! (scheduled for Friday, Sep. 18, 2020)
Socially distanced outdoor location near R3L1R5 (location provided to ticket-holders)

SOUNDYARD is back this fall with their first outdoor concert in Winnipeg. Find your tickets here ($1-$50 by pay-what-you-can subscription) or $20 at the door (contact SoundYard for location).

As part of our GroundFloor Concerts initiative, this event has been sponsored by GroundSwell.


from All Tomorrow’s Oceans, Xuan Ye, 2019-2020

All Tomorrow’s Oceans
Co-presented with send + receive: a festival of sound
Friday, October 2, 2020

This live-streamed multimedia presentation includes an intercontinental collaboration between legendary composer Carl Stone and Tokyo-based singer, songwriter, and improviser Akaihirume; the live-streamed debut of All Tomorrow’s Oceans, an enveloping audio-visual performance by artist and musician Xuan Ye; an excursion through the choral landscapes of Sarah Jo Kirsch; and a towering, outdoor adaptation of Dimmer Switch by Colby Richardson.

Trimpin: The Sound of Invention
Co-presented with Winnipeg Film Group
CANCELLED! (scheduled for Friday, Oct. 23 @ 7 pm / Saturday, Oct. 24 @ 2 pm)

Directed by Peter Esmonde
2009, USA, 79 min

This amusing exploration of the sonic world of an eccentric creative genius will delight anyone interested in the mysteries, pitfalls, and sheer joy of creative experiment. Artist, inventor, engineer and composer Trimpin shuns the hype and hyperbole of the commercial art world – yet his freewheeling sculptures and outrageous musical experiments are cherished by museums all over the planet. Filmed over two years the film follows the artist inventor as he designs a 60 foot tower of more than 500 electric guitars and builds an ensemble of huge marimbas that convert real time earthquake data into music as he collaborates with the Kronos Quartet.


Co-presented with Winnipeg Film Group
November 27-December 25
Available to stream through Cinematheque at Home 

Directed by Alex Winter
2020, USA, 129 min

A vast collection of his unreleased music, movies, incomplete projects, unseen interviews, and unheard concert recordings. Told entirely through this fantastic footage, we discover a totally uncompromising artist who battled a commercial record industry in his pursuit of artistic integrity. From his desire to get away from the stifling conservative atmosphere of a small town, he broke the rules of classical composing and defied the standards of rock and roll.

“This is the definitive Frank Zappa documentary.” – Ahmet Zappa, Rolling Stone

This title is available to rent via Cinematheque at Home. This is not only an opportunity for their patrons to see new cinema, but is an important way that you can continue to support independent film during this pandemic with 30% of all sales supporting their theatre.


Stream through Facebook Live @ 7:30-8:30PM CDT

The third instalment of Cameron Denby’s Keyboards in Recital Series has evolved into a livestream performance, with music arranged for vibraphone (Caroline Bucher) and marimba (Denby). The concert includes arrangements by Denby, adapted from music for orchestra, piano, and choir, varying from c. 1650-1917; solo pieces, including Steph Davis‘ I go to prepare a place for you; and a premiere by Winnipeg composer Kiara Nathaniel.

Donations are strongly recommended, however Denby notes that everyone should be able to enjoy the arts, regardless of their financial situation.

As part of our GroundFloor Concerts initiative, this event has been sponsored by GroundSwell. This project is also supported by Marimba One™ and Crescent Arts Centre.

2020 Emerging Composers Competition
Watch the concert of chosen works on Vimeo

GroundSwell’s biennial Emerging Composers Competition was open to Canadian composers under 30 years of age and is for electroacoustic pieces composed between 2015 and 2020.

2020 Award Recipients:
Dominic Sambucco (1st prize)
Dominic Walther-Battista (2nd & audience prizes)
Julia Mermelstein (Trudi Le Caine award)

2020 Finalists and Works:
Simon ChioiniReprésentations…(précieuses) (2016)
Julia Mermelsteinwonted (2017)
Dominic SambuccoVersenkung (2018)
Dominic Walther-BattistaSouvenirs (2020)
Willyn WhitingFor Dancer and Projection (2020).

2020 International Panel:
Margaret Schedel, Associate Professor, Composition and Computer Music; Stony Brook University, New York
William Brunson, (retired) The Royal College of Music (KMH), Stockholm, Sweden
Jean-Francois Charles, Assistant Professor, Digital Arts and Composition; University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

1st prize—$1,000
2nd prize—$750
Trudi Le Caine Award in Electroacoustics (generously sponsored by Kevin Austin)—for an applicant who self-identifies as female or non-binary—$300
Audience choice—$250)

A special thank you to Kevin Austin for sponsoring the Trudi Le Caine Award in Electroacoustics.



Curator interviews, live-stream and video concerts, masterclasses, discussions, and more. Additionally, stay tuned for our extensive video and audio archive online—nearly 30 years of new music events out of the vault and linked to you. Catch a glimpse from our GroundSwell—Linked Introduction and stay tuned as new content rolls out. 


Curator Conversations_GS1: Leanne Zacharias
Aired September 11, 2020

GroundSwell President Karen Sunabacka speaks with Leanne Zacharias about the first concert of GroundSwell’s 2020-21 season, Not Seeing is a Flower (January 17, 2021).

*This concert has been postponed until GroundSwell’s 2021-22 season.

 © Leif Norman


The Original McIntosh – Part 1
The Original McIntosh – Part 2
Aired September 25, 2020

A special two-part series celebrating GroundSwell co-founder, Diana McIntosh. Including raw archival footage, excerpts, and interviews with Ben Reimer and Vincent Ellin (Part 1) and Beverley Johnston and Laurel Ridd (Part 2).

Curator Conversations_GS2: Jim Hiscott
Aired October 9, 2020

GroundSwell President Karen Sunabacka speaks with Jim Hiscott about the second concert of GroundSwell’s 2020-21 season, Many, Many Cadences (February 16, 2021), featuring Montreal-based string quartet Quatuor Bozzini.

Listen to samples by the featured composers here.

*This concert has been postponed until GroundSwell’s 2021-22 season

Télévision—Highlights of Concert from 2006-07 Season
Aired October 24, 2020

An archival concert from GroundSwell’s 2006-07

season featuring percussionists Ben Reimer & Shawn Mativetsky. Listen to works by Matthew Burtner, Eliot Britton, and Nicole Lizée..

Curator Conversations_GS3: crys cole
Aired November 6, 2020

GroundSwell President Karen Sunabacka speaks with sound artist crys cole about the third concert of GroundSwell’s 2020-21 season, Interspecies Smalltalk (March 26, 2021), featuring historic American electro-acoustic composer David Behrman and emerging American composer & fiddler Cleek Schrey.

*This concert has been postponed until GroundSwell’s 2021-22 season

New Voices: Now and Then—Highlights of Concert from 1991-92 Season
Aired November 20, 2020

An archival concert from GroundSwell’s first season, 1991-92, featuring Therese Costes (soprano), Karen Jensen (mezzo), and Mel Braun (baritone), in works by Tom Johnson and György Ligeti.

A Manitoba Songbook
Aired February 19, 2021

An archival concert from GroundSwell’s 2006-07 season, featuring all Manitoba music, with Charlene Pauls (soprano), Ian Hodges (guitar), Laurel Ridd (flute), Daniel Scholz (viola), and Ben Reimer (percussion), in works by Bruce ShaversJerry SemchyshynMichael Matthews, and Glenn Buhr.

Aired April 15, 2021

Cellist Julia MacLaine pairs three newly-commissioned works by Yellowknife composer/performer Carmen Braden, Cree cellist/composer Cris Derksen, and PEI fiddler/producer Roy Johnstone with the Bach Preludes that inspired them. Part of a larger recording project, Julia asked composers to respond to Bach’s work based on her curiosities, including the channels that could be opened between contemporary and Baroque music. Join us for music with introductions and a post-concert Q&A with the composers.
This project was made possible with generous funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and Marg Campbell.