Career Development Award

The Women’s Musical Club of Toronto is pleased to announce the tenth presentation of its Career Development Award (CDA) in 2015. Established in 1989 and presented every three years, the CDA assists exceptional young Canadian musicians who are already engaged in a professional performing career through a cash award and a recital in the Music in the Afternoon concert series. The CDA is a project of the WMCT, funded by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Foundation, and organized in partnership with CBC Radio Music and Espace Musique de Radio-Canada.

Since 2000 the ten candidates for each competition have been selected by CBC regional producers. The candidates are adjudicated by five jurors who come from all over Canada, and who are chosen for their varying musical expertise. They do not confer or meet, but instead they individually rank all the candidates based solely on their written and audio materials.

In celebration of the tenth presentation of the CDA in 2015, the WMCT will conclude the selection process with a live competition for the three finalists. Thus, the five jurors will select their top three musicians based on audio and written materials and those three will come to Walter Hall in Toronto on April 26, 2015, for a live competition. Three different jurors will adjudicate the live competition in Walter Hall, which will be hosted by Julie Nezrallah (of CBC Radio Two’s morning classical music programme, Tempo). And, instead of just one prize for the winner, each of the three finalists performing in the live competition will win a cash award: $20,000 for the first prize (and a recital in the WMCT’s 2016-2017 Music in the Afternoon concert series); $10,000 for the second prize, and $5,000 for the third prize.

Due to the increased prize money and cost of hosting a live competition, the WMCT is in the midst of a fundraising drive for the tenth CDA. Some funds have been raised through our special fundraising concert on May 4, 2014 (at the stunning Rosedale home of James Stewart, with soprano Shannon Mercer and pianist Steven Philcox) and we are also hoping to augment our donations from individuals and foundations. Past winners of the award have included James Ehnes, violin (1992), Karina Gauvin, soprano (1994), Yegor Dyachkov, cello (2000), and Shannon Mercer, soprano (2006) – all of whom have attested to the tremendous value of the CDA in getting themselves established on the Canadian and international classical music stage.

The live competition on the afternoon of April 26, 2015, is open to our members and to the public at large. Tickets are $25 and they can be purchased with WMCT memberships or by phoning the WMCT office at 416-923-7052.

If you would like to donate to the CDA and offer your support to the finest of young Canadian musicians please contact the WMCT office at 416-923-7052. An official donation receipt for income tax purposes will be issued for all donations.


Recorder player Vincent Lauzer 2012 Career Development Award winner.

Vincent Lauzer began learning the recorder when he was five. In spite of pressure from his school principal to change to the violin, he remained with the instrument he loved, studying with the same teacher until he was 19.  He completed music degrees at McGill University and still lives in Montreal where he divides his time between performing and teaching.

Career Development Award Winners:

  • 2012 – Vincent Lauzer, recorder
  • 2009 – Darrett Zusko, piano
  • 2006 – Shannon Mercer, soprano
  • 2003 – Sonia Chan, piano
  • 2000 – Yegor Dyachkov, cello
  • 1997 – Jeanie Chung, piano
  • 1994 – Karina Gauvin, soprano
  • 1992 – James Ehnes, violin
  • 1990 – Francine Kay, piano