Celebrating Women in Music

Celebrating Women in Music: A Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives Practicum Capstone Project

Welcome to the digital compliment for the “Celebrating Women in Music” launch event. The materials highlighted at the event include items from the Ann Southam fonds and the Ina Dennekamp fonds along with materials from the library collection at the Paul D. Fleck Archive at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. This space is a place to share parts of the collection with Canadians and beyond.

Ann Southam (1937-2010) was a Canadian composer and music teacher best known for her minimalist style. In 1952, she began her studies in composition, which was nurtured by a summer spent at the Banff School of Fine Arts (now Banff Centre). Southam was then accepted into the Royal Conservatory where she developed an interest in electronic composition from her mentor Professor Samuel Dolin, who later introduced her to Patricia Beatty and the world of modern dance. In 1968, Southam became the Toronto Dance Theatre's Composer-in-Residence, writing over thirty compositions for their performances.

As one of Canada's first major women composers, Southam quietly funded many new initiatives, performances, and projects by women composers and artists. She was founding member, first president (1980-1988) and later honorary president of the Association of Canadian Women composers (ACWC).

In 2010, Southam was inducted into the Order of Canada "for her contributions as one of Canada's prominent women composers, known for electronic, acoustic and orchestral works, and as a philanthropist and committed volunteer".

Ina Dennekamp (1950- ) was a Canadian pianist, music teacher and piano tuner. She also had a career as a radio broadcaster on CFRO-FM where she produced a weekly program entitled "Women of Note" which focused on the life and works of women in music throughout the world and included live and recorded music, interviews, historical documentaries and news. In 1988, she received a Canada Council Explorations Grant to produce a radio documentary in which Dennekamp interviewed numerous female musicians and composers from across the country.

Dennekamp also held positions in a number of professional associations, including Coordinator of the BC Chapter of the Association of Canadian Women Composers and most notably as founder and president of the Society of Women in Music. Women in Music was created as "a resource and education organization that aims to increase the contribution and recognition of women in all aspects of music".

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