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Calgary Organ Festival
Calgary Festival  Description
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Calgary International Organ Festival

Calgary International Organ Festival offers a unique Canadian-based cultural event to the world and enhances the local community through a variety of activities and programs. It promotes the versatility of the organ as a concert instrument through annual concerts and events that entertain, educate and enrich people of all ages. Every four years, Calgary International Organ Festival presents a world-leading festival and competition that draws top organists from around the globe to compete for the largest prize package in international organ competition.

This year, some 34,000 people took part in the 1998 Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Festival and Competition in events held in Stellenbosch and Cape Town (South Africa), Hong Kong (China), Morrow [Atlanta], Georgia, (U.S.A.), Lübeck (Germany) and in Calgary, Canada. Competition Selection Rounds and an education program for Calgary students in Grades 4 - 6 were held in the Spring and Summer. The Festival and Competition Finals were held in Calgary September 18 through October 3, 1998 and attracted performers and visitors from around the world. The 1998 Festival celebrated music and showcased the organ in a host of events, including a silent-film festival re-uniting original movie classics with live organ accompaniment, an evening of jazz with the legendary Booker T. Jones and the Jimmy McGriff - Hank Crawford Quartet, 15 free noon-hour concerts in venues across the downtown core, an Organ Crawl to see and hear some of Calgary’s many wonderful instruments and participation in Western Canada’s first-ever Music Expo trade show.

Other performances and events included The King’s Singers, Canada’s premier baroque orchestra Tafelmusik, a recital by renowned pianist Angela Hewitt, a screening of BBC-TV’s Howard Goodall’s Organ Works, a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah in its original German and a symposium on interpreting the music of J.S. Bach.

For many years, the annual events presented by Calgary International Organ Festival have offered opportunities to hear organ music, and in particular to hear Calgary’s magnificent 6,040-pipe Carthy Organ at Jack Singer Concert Hall. Events range from free noon-hour presentations to gala concerts.

Recently, an electronic duplicate of the Carthy Organ was built by the Allen Organ Company, and Calgary International Organ Festival has also acquired a George Wright Signature Series theatre organ, also built by Allen. These instruments enable the Organ Festival to extend its reach into the community and will be featured prominently in upcoming programs.

More information is available through the World Wide Web at or from the Organ Festival office, third floor, 134 - 11 Avenue, S.E., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2G 0X5; phone +1 (403) 543-5115; toll-free in North America 1-800-213-9750; fax +1 (403) 543-5129 or e-mail

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