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date: 17 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Canada has established an international identity as a racially and culturally diverse society that prides itself on inclusion. Since the nation’s first policy of official multiculturalism was enacted in 1971, eventually culminating in the Canadian Multiculturalism Act in 1988, educational organizations, including many of Canada’s community children’s choirs, have sought to promote cultural diversity. Early attempts focused primarily on repertoire, and from today’s cultural understanding seem not only naive but trivializing, and from certain perspectives, colonizing. These initial attempts, congruent with the original goals for Canadian multiculturalism, which focused primarily on diversity of language, customs, and religion, have proven ineffective, however, in helping choirs attract diverse memberships. This chapter explores some of the reasons why the type of multiculturalism practiced in Canadian children’s community choirs has not led to the diversity of membership that many organizations desire.

Keywords: community children’s choirs, inclusion, diversity, multiculturalism, Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988

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