125 Years of History
In 1898 a group of women musicians and music lovers founded the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto. More than a century later it still enhances the cultural life of Toronto, sponsoring a recital series and providing performance opportunities and scholarships for young Canadian musicians. Over the years it changed from a “women only” club to one that welcomes everyone.
Originally WMCT members performed for each other in weekly morning recitals. By 1919 the club presented professional artists such as Ernest MacMillan and Harry Adaskin as well as varied ensembles. During the 1930s a special series of three concerts grossed $772.37 – the root of a scholarship fund which continues today supporting undergraduate scholarships, a graduate fellowship, and the national $25,000 Career Development Award.
The first 100 years were celebrated with a gala concert on May 24, 1999, featuring Russell Braun, James Ehnes, Angela Hewitt, Catherine Robbin, and Michael Schade, artists supported by the WMCT in their early careers, as well as the then most recent Career Development Award winner, Jeanie Chung, piano.
After the pandemic of 2020-2022, two years of cancelled or streamed concerts without an audience, the WMCT resumed in-person concerts at the end of the 124th season in Grace Church on-the-hill, and in October returned to its regular home in Walter Hall to begin the 125th season.
Available from the WMCT Office
By Robin Elliott
Counterpoint to a City: The First One Hundred Years of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto, ECW Press (1997).
Counterpoint Continued, WMCT (2008).
Counterpoint Three, WMCT (2023}
Women’s Musical Club of Toronto Archives
Researchers may view the WMCT archival material, housed in the Special Collections area of the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street (one block north of the Bloor-Yonge Subway Station). For more information contact Lee Ramsay in the Performing Arts section of the library at 416-393-7013.
Anna Farini, 1907-1908 President of the WMCT